The city experienced 61 incidents in September, the highest one-month total since 2008.
There have been 260 auto burglaries this year, surpassing annual totals for the past three years (2012 had 239 total; 2011 had 229 total; 2010 had 241 total; 2009 had 388 total).
Police say there is no identifiable pattern to the rise in auto burglaries.
The majority of the crimes have occurred during the early evening hours, many have occurred during daytime and overnight hours too. The incidents aren't concentrated in any particular geographic location of town. They have occurred on weekdays and on weekends, in quiet neighborhoods and in commercial areas, and both on the street and in parking garages.
Two areas has been hit especially hard though.
Sixteen cases have occurred at the Oak Creek Apartments along Sand Hill Road (on two separate nights), and City parking garage "S" at 445 Bryant Street has had nine cases (on three separate days/nights).
Police recommendations for preventing these incidents include removing valuables whenever possible, or keeping them them out of sight – preferably before to arriving at a destination.
Police have increased patrols and dispatched detectives in plainclothes and in unmarked vehicles. The department's Special Enforcement Detail officers is working on burglary suppression exclusively in the downtown parking garages.
Police have made arrests so far this year on suspicion of auto burglary, but in September.
Detectives are investigating leads on several recent cases, and are working with their counterparts from law enforcement agencies up and down the Peninsula.
Police have also launched a community outreach effort, contacting every car rental agency and hotel in town to encourage them to pass auto burglary prevention tips along to their customers. Police will also be using social media outlets to highlight the trend and identify crime prevention tips.
Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to call the Palo Alto Police Department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to email@example.com or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.
you or anyone close to you been an auto burglary victim in Palo Alto
this year? Share your experiences in our comments section.