A man was arrested just hours after committing an early-morning residential burglary in Hillsborough on Monday and with the stark increase in the number of homes being broken into over the last month, law enforcement officials continue to warn there are opportunistic criminals on the prowl.
Isaias Hernandez, a 19-year-old San Mateo resident, was arrested around noon on Fallon Avenue in San Mateo on Monday after he broke into a home on the 1700 block of Sharon Avenue in Hillsborough, said Hillsborough police Capt. Doug Davis.
Hernandez stole items from a car parked in the driveway and gained access into the home from a garage door opener left in the car, according to police.
A suspect has also been identified in connection with at least one of three residential burglaries that occurred in Hillsborough on Tuesday, June 24, Davis said.
Burglars who are taking advantage of unlocked doors, windows and garages, have overtly targeted homes south of State Route 92 recently, said Sheriff’s Office Deputy Rebecca Rosenblatt.
Throughout June, there have been a total of 25 residential burglaries or attempted burglaries just between San Carlos, Woodside, Portola Valley and the unincorporated areas of Redwood City and Menlo Park, Rosenblatt said.
Last week alone, there were 11 residential burglaries and attempts in these cities the Sheriff’s Office patrols, Rosenblatt said.
It’s an unusual increase from previous years and in June 2013, there were just 15 throughout the same area, Rosenblatt said.
Although sheriff’s deputies are still investigating the incidents, the circumstances of the crimes are similar and indicate it may be the work of the same people, Rosenblatt said.
“The commonality that we’re seeing is it’s usually unlocked windows, unlocked doors, unlocked garage doors,” Rosenblatt said. “It’s kind of like why people that live in a certain area go to a certain grocery market; so it’s what’s convenient for them. So for some reason, these individuals have found this portion of the community attractive for this.”
The criminals are using the common tactic of knocking on front doors and waiting to see if anyone is home before walking around and checking for unlocked entrances, Rosenblatt said.
Generally speaking, most residential burglaries occur during the day as criminals assume most people are at work or school, Rosenblatt said. Burglars may also be taking advantage of people gone on summer vacation, Rosenblatt said.
Two of the three Hillsborough homes that were burglarized last Tuesday were broken into through smashed windows, according to police. The suspect that is currently in custody was apprehended by another law enforcement agency in Santa Clara County on an unrelated charge and a search of motel room uncovered property that had been stolen from one of the Hillsborough burglaries, Davis said.
It is unlikely that this suspect and Hernandez were acting alone and the investigation is still ongoing, Davis said.
Residents are urged to protect themselves by securing their homes before leaving and immediately reporting any suspicious people or behavior to police.
“We’re just really asking people to be vigilant on closing windows and doors and even locking doggie doors and so forth,” Rosenblatt said. “Because it’s those little things that could make the difference.”
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