Rash of Auto Burglaries Hits Downtown Palo Alto: Police

Police are investigating a rash of auto burglaries in Palo Alto.

Officers responded to nine auto burglaries reported between 6 and 10 p.m. Tuesday in the downtown area. Police said three of the break-ins occurred on the upper floors of a city parking garage at 528 High Street.

Four other cases were reported in the 500 block of Webster Street, the 400 block of Hamilton Avenue, the 500 block of University Avenue and the 300 block of Lytton Avenue, according to police.

The last two incidents occurred on the 1800 and 1900 blocks of El Camino Real.

Police said in each case burglars smashed windows to remove backpacks, bags or briefcases that were left in plain view inside the vehicle.

It does not appear suspects targeted a particular model of a car, though it is possible rental vehicles were targeted in the string of auto burglaries, police said, adding seven of the nine victims vehicles were rentals.

Police report 65 auto burglaries in Palo Alto this year.

In the first three months of 2014, the city saw 97 auto burglaries, police said.

There was a total of 313 auto burglaries last year, down from a six-year high of 409 incident reported in 2013.

Police recommend taking valuables with you whenever possible or securing them out of sight prior to arriving at your destination. For more crime prevention tips, visit CityOfPaloAlto.org/StopCrime.

Anyone with information about the Tuesday night's auto burglaries is asked to contact police at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to paloalto@tipnow.org or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.

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