San Jose Police Chief Eddie Garcia met with an auditorium full of concerned residents in the Willow Glen neighborhood Thursday after a recent spike in business break-ins and car burglaries over the last few months.
Residents and business owners say they're concerned that their neighborhood is being targeted by criminals.
At Gold Star Jewelers a burglar broke the side panel of the jewelry case and snatched a large string of pearls. The store has video of the break-in and the owners hope it will help police catch the suspect.
Jerry Brager owns a different business in the neighborhood. He said he’s firm believer in security cameras.
“You’re still gonna get broken into,” Brager said. “But if they’re smart, they’re going to start looking at these cameras. These cameras aren’t dummies.”
During Thursday’s safety meeting with Garcia at the Willow Glen Community Center, residents were briefed on the department’s efforts to crack down on these recent crimes.
One thing police are doing is encouraging businesses to install cameras outside as well as inside their stores.
“Did they come in a car? Is the car parked? Which direction did the car go? Were there accomplices outside waiting for them? There’s just a myriad of things that the outside [cameras] can do,” Garcia said.
According to Garcia, there are now special foot patrols in certain neighborhoods, and police have launched a new burglary unit to track down suspects and the people who illegally buy the items they’ve stolen.
Most importantly, Garcia said the department is still trying to add more police officers.
Despite the recent spike in crime, Garcia said property crimes in Willow Glen have actually dropped when compared to last year.
Residents at the meeting said social media can be a tool.
“I now know about crime that’s happening four blocks away from me because of social media,” said Willow Glen resident Terrence Reilly.