Almanac

News - January 13, 2010

Burglars ransack Atherton home with family on vacation

by Andrea Gemmet

It was an unhappy ending to a holiday vacation for an Atherton family, who found their house ransacked and their car stolen.

The burglary was reported Jan. 4 when the residents of the home in the 100 block of Hawthorne Drive got back from their trip, said Atherton police Sgt. Sherman Hall. There was no sign of forced entry, but a back door was open, Sgt. Hall said.

The burglars took flat screen televisions, stereo equipment and jewelry that had sentimental value. "The suspects were pretty discerning, taking the good stuff and leaving the other stuff behind," said Sgt. Hall.

The burglars also stole the victims' car, a 1993 two-door Lexus sedan, he said.

Police haven't received a complete list of missing items, but the estimated value is at least $10,000, not including the value of the stolen car, Sgt. Hall said.

While the residents did several things right, like stopping delivery of the newspaper and asking neighbors to keep an eye on the house, the home did not have an alarm system, Sgt. Hall said. Several houses on the street were on the police department's watch list, because residents notified police that they would be out of town. This house was not on the list, Sgt. Hall said.

"We were up and down the street a lot, checking on those (other houses). Unfortunately, this house wasn't on our radar," he said.

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