A string of home burglaries in the Peninsula town of Atherton has residents on edge and prompted police to seek assistance from other agencies to try to put a stop to the break-ins.
Atherton police said over the past month alone there have been eight residential burglaries in the community, and last year there were nearly two dozen. They believe a majority of the burglaries are the acts of a Chilean gang.
Police will hold a virtual informational meeting Thursday night, during which they will discuss their continued coordination with the FBI on the Chilean gang angle and other partnerships, such as their coordination with the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center on tracking of and information on organized burglary rings.
The department also is partnering with the San Mateo County Police Chiefs and Sheriffs Association to leverage use of existing crime task forces for burglary suppression.
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Of the eight burglaries over the past month, Atherton police suspect six were committed by organized Chilean gang members operating out of the Los Angeles area. Of the 28 burglaries in 2021, the agency has linked six to the Chilean gang.
Atherton police also are asking for help from community members, issuing a list of things they can do to keep their homes and family safe.
- Keep all gates, doors and windows locked, even when you are home.
- Keep lights on, install light timers, leave a TV or radio running.
- Install exterior lighting.
- Keep valuables hidden and consider using a safe bolted to the floor or wall.
- Keep valuables out of your vehicle and keep it locked up.
- Install an alarm system and security cameras.
The virtual informational meeting hosted by Atherton police is scheduled to start at 6 p.m.