Several suspicious incidents have recently been reported in Atherton, police say, and they urge residents to take precautions to avoid burglaries.
Two different residents reported seeing what seemed to be the same man on their properties on Saturday, Jan. 17, police said. They described him as slender and Hispanic, about 25 to 31 years of age, 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 11 inches tall, and weighing 140 to 155 pounds.
The first incident was on Sutherland Drive, where police said the man walked around and looked in windows.
Soon after, a man reportedly entered and walked around a property on Mesa Court, police said. Homeowners said they thought the man was hiding in the pool house, but he was not found, police said.
Atherton police said they had also investigated a report of an unlocked door and windows in a Maple Avenue home, reported on Jan. 15 but believed to have happened between Dec. 27 and Jan. 3. Police say the house did not appear to be disturbed.
On Jan. 12, a resident of Laburnum Drive said her purse was stolen from her vehicle near Alpine Road and I-280. Police said that when the woman returned home her spare key, which had been in her purse, was in the front door deadbolt lock. However, police found no signs of entry into the home and nothing was missing, they said.
Police offer the following safety tips:
● Lock all doors and windows, including those in garages, pool houses and other auxiliary structures. Lock vehicles, even in driveways or behind gates. Leave nothing visible in a vehicle, except the seats and floor mats.
● Leave some exterior lights on all night and consider motion-activated lights. Leave some inside lights on or put on timers when away from home. Leave your alarm on at all times.
● Plant "unfriendly" plants and shrubbery -- those with prickly leaves or thorns -- around a home to make it harder to enter. Dogs may also discourage burglars.
● Exterior camera systems can allow residents to remotely check on their homes, can prevent burglaries if visible and can help police identify thieves.
● Exchange information with neighbors and let them know if you will be gone. Inform the Atherton police if you are going on vacation and ask for property checks.