A "team of burglars" smashed a stolen SUV into Bloomingdale's at Stanford Shopping Center early Wednesday morning, police said, shattering the front glass doors of the high-end store and stealing a "large amount of jewelry."
Palo Alto Police Agent Marianna Villaescusa said the suspects backed up a red SUV at 4:03 a.m. into the El Camino Real side of Bloomie's, according to surveillance footage reviewed at the scene. Three people, all wearing black-hooded sweatshirts, got out of the SUV and the driver waited for them outside, she said.
The trio used "some form of tool," perhaps hammers, Villaescusa said, to break the glass display cases and stole the jewelry before hopping into the getaway car. She said they were only inside for two minutes. No one got a good look at the suspects and their race and gender are unknown from the surveillance images.
The surveillance photos did pick up some car details, though. Villaescusa said the SUV’s license plate appears to match that of a red 1989 Jeep Cherokee that had been reported stolen on Tuesday at 5:36 p.m. from the 2200 block of Birch Street in Palo Alto. Police officers found the SUV with no one it it Wednesday at 9:44 a.m. in the 200 block of Palo Alto Avenue.
Bloomingdale's is still doing an investigation of what was stolen.
"Smash-and-grab" burglaries have been occurring frequently throughout the Bay Area, including in Palo Alto in February, when burglars rammed a minivan into a photography shop and stole tens of thousands of dollars in merchandise.
There have been at least six other of these type of burglaries since May 2014 in the Bay Area, in San Francisco, Hayward and Berkeley.