In fewer than 24 hours – between Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning – someone stole a car, bicycles and broke into two homes in Atherton.
These are the latest incidents in what the Atherton Police Department is calling a rash of crime. Police will hold a community meeting on Thursday (Jan. 31) to address residents’ concerns about crime in town.
The following are the incidents that took place earlier this week:
• Between 4:45 p.m. on Monday and 9:21 a.m. on Tuesday, burglars entered a house on the 100 block of Almendral Avenue through an unlocked garage door, according to a police department press release. They rummaged through and stole items from two unlocked cars.
• Between 10 p.m. on Monday and 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, burglars entered another home on the 100 block of Almendral Avenue through an unlocked side door, according to the press release. They rummaged through a purse on a counter.
• Between 11 p.m. on Monday and 8 a.m. on Tuesday, someone rummaged through two unlocked cars in the driveway of a home on the unit block of Almendral Avenue, according to the press release. They also stole two bicycles. The police later recovered the bikes.
• Between 11 p.m. on Monday and 8:23 a.m. on Tuesday, someone stole an unlocked vehicle parked in the driveway on the unit block of Almendral Avenue, according to the press release.
Police did not say if these most recent incidents are related.
Police department data shows a dramatic increase in home burglaries in town year-to-year: There were seven home burglaries in 2017 compared with 26 in 2018.
Things began fairly quietly in 2018, but the last two months saw a spike in the number of home burglaries. In November, five incidents were reported. And in December, seven incidents were reported – the same number of home burglaries reported in all of 2017.
Even before January has ended, the number of home burglaries (four) is higher than any other month of 2017 and 2018, except for November and December 2018.
Atherton police had hoped that the rash of burglaries that began in November had slowed down. Before the burglaries started up again on Jan. 25, the latest incident had been on Jan. 3, police said.
In the Jan. 25 incident, burglars forced their way into a home on the 100 block of Tuscaloosa Avenue by smashing a second-story balcony window, surveillance footage showed. There were at least three burglars involved and about $5,000 worth of jewelry was stolen, according to a police press release.
In another incident, burglars stole $10,000 worth of purses after forcing their way into a home on James Avenue by breaking a rear window between Jan. 25 and Jan. 28, according to a police press release.
Police have not made any arrests related to the recent burglaries, Atherton Police Commander Joe Wade said last week.
There were a number of burglaries in town in November and December. Among the incidents, someone stole $14,000 worth of electronics from Encinal Elementary School during the first weekend of December, and in another incident, someone stole roughly $225,000 worth of jewelry from a home.
The police community meeting takes place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 31, in the Jennings Pavilion in Holbrook-Palmer Park, 150 Watkins Ave. in Atherton.