Burglary suspect lives in theft area

The young man police suspect is responsible for at least nine residential burglaries in the last two months lived in the same Burlingame neighborhood he was allegedly preying on.

Shawn Curtis McKnight Jr., 20, lived on the 400 block of Rollins Road — the same southern region in which police think he had been breaking into homes since December. Out of a total of 12 home burglaries in that region since then, police found enough stolen materials at McKnight’s home to arrest him Wednesday afternoon on nine counts of first-degree burglary and receiving stolen property.

Burlingame investigators were tipped off to McKnight by Officer Jake Kiely, one of many uniformed and undercover officers on the lookout in the area. Last week, Kiely stopped McKnight near one of the homes that was burglarized and found some “suspicious property” but no information that linked him to the burglaries, Sgt. Ed Nakiso said. It is not clear if Kiely found the suspicious property on McKnight.

Kiely passed the information on to investigators. During a subsequent search of McKnight’s single-family residence, which also housed other residents who were not home at the time, police said they found such items as iPods, laptops and cash that were reported missing in the burglaries and arrested McKnight.

McKnight allegedly broke windows to enter a few homes and entered some through unlocked doors and windows, Cmdr. Mike Matteucci said. Police said they had worried the burglary problem could have escalated, possibly resulting in a violent incident.

Burglaries have plagued police and residents since three homes in the southern region of Burlingame were burglarized on Nov. 20. Shortly after, an “unusual amount of burglaries” struck a number of homes, Nakiso said. Matteucci said he could not remember arresting someone for more than nine counts of first-degree burglary.

McKnight will be arraigned today, said San Mateo County Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe. McKnight was being held in county jail on $60,000 bail.

McKnight is not believed to be responsible for the three homes burglaries in November, police said. Police are now spending time going to pawn shops — where they say McKnight sold some ofthe stolen goods — and returning items to the original owners.

mrosenberg@examiner.com

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