The Palo Alto Police Department will hold a community meeting Wednesday night to discuss a recent trend they've seen in daytime residential burglaries.
Police will give out information about the crime trend, including a breakdown of statistics on where, when, and how the burglaries are occurring.
Officers will also provide information on recent arrests and a list of the Department’s actions taken thus far to combat these daytime crimes. They will offer information about what constitutes suspicious activity, how to report that activity to the police, and burglary prevention tips.
The Palo Alto Police Department’s website has a section on crime prevention tips.
The meeting is the kick-off event for the Department’s “Lock It or Lose It!” public education campaign, which was officially launched last week.
The campaign is designed to focus the public’s attention on how best to prevent burglaries. Police believe a partnership between alert residents and the police is one of the most effective ways to combat the burglary problem.
The main message behind the “Lock It or Lose It!” campaign is that residents should always lock their property when it is not occupied.
Last year, according to Palo Alto police, the point of entry in 36% of residential burglaries was through open or unlocked doors or windows.
The point of entry in another 28% of the cases could not be determined, but there is the likelihood that doors or windows were left unsecured. In only 36% of the cases did the burglars have to use bodily force, a cutting tool, a pry tool, or a window smash to gain entry.
“We understand the community is concerned about the spike in daytime residential burglaries,” said Lieutenant Zach Perron. “We share that concern. Burglary prevention and burglar apprehension are our top priorities right now, and we’re doing our very best at it. But we really need the public’s help to be our eyes and ears out there. We encourage people to come to the meeting to learn more about what they can do to help.”
Police urge residents to call 9-1-1 if they see suspicious behavior, and let officers decide if that behavior is innocent or criminal. Police say it is always better to call and let the police do their job, rather than rationalize suspicious behavior and not call.
Anyone having information about the current burglary trend can contact the 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413.
Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.
The community meeting will take place this Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the multi-purpose room of Walter Hays Elementary School, 1525 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto.