No break in Burlingame break-ins for December

An upsurge of car burglaries that has been victimizing Burlingame residents since Halloween reached new heights with 14 break-ins reported during a six-day stretch last week, police said.

The 14 auto burglaries between Dec. 2 and Friday come after 11 were reported in the first week of November and five more reported between Nov. 21 and Nov. 25, including three on one block, police said. In those three stretches alone, 30 break-ins were reported in 18 days.

Additionally, three homes were broken into within a half-mile radius on Nov. 20, police said. Those incidents were not related to the auto burglaries, however, Burlingame police Cmdr. Mike Matteucci said.

Police have stepped up patrol and directed special operations toward the crimes in the last few weeks, but have been unable to track the burglars or develop suspect descriptions, Matteucci said.

Many of the burglaries seem to happen in spurts within a close proximity, and those incidents within a neighborhood are likely related, Matteucci said. It is unknown whether the same people committed all the burglaries throughout the city, he said.

Some Burlingame residents said they found the break-ins especially alarming.

“We couldn't believe it,” said a woman who lives on the 3000 block of Rivera Drive.

On the evening of Dec. 1, someone smashed the rear window of her 16-year-old daughter’s older Toyota Corolla and stole Christmas gifts, she said.

“I guess they hit the jackpot,” she said.

The woman, who did not want to be mentioned by name, recalled calling her next-door neighbor to tell him he left his garage door open hours before the break-in.

The woman said she would do exactly what police are advising — leave all valuables out of the car.

The burglars are likely walking by cars usually parked on the street at night and glaring into windows to see if anything of value is inside, Matteucci said. If they like what they see, he said, they smash windows. One incident even involved cutting a convertible top and breaking into the steering column.

Some of the targeted neighborhoods that have been hit include a hillside community by Trousdale Drive and Mills Canyon Park and the area by the Prime Time Athletic Club on Rollins Road. Police do not know why these communities are being hit or whether the burglaries have hit their apex.

Any information on these crimes should be called in to Burlingame police at (650) 777-4100.

Crimes on repeat

Locations hit more than once since Halloweeen

» 500 block of El Camino Real

» 3000 block of Rivera Drive

» 2600 blockof Martinez Drive

» 1200 block of Bernal Avenue

» 1300 and 1700 blocks of Rollins Road

Items taken

» GPS device

» Laptop

» Camera

» Battery

» Christmas gifts

» Medicine

» Stereo

» Cash/purse

» MP3 players

mrosenberg@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocalPeninsula

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