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Police: Rise in Atherton burglaries is 'alarming'

Original post made on Jul 1, 2021

An elderly Lindenwood resident awoke to two strangers lurking in her bedroom with flashlights one night last month. She screamed and the two fled through the smashed French door. She's one of 28 burglary victims in Atherton this year.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, July 1, 2021, 10:25 AM

Comments (7)

Posted by Sandy
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Jul 1, 2021 at 2:20 pm

Sandy is a registered user.

A lunch time uninvited guest showed up in our garage and rummaged through all our cars taking Designer sun Glasses. This was committed in broad day light .
The big item was driving one of our cars out of the property trying to accomplish a Car Theft.
Unfortunately for the intruder we witnessed this daytime robbery.
The Atherton police were at our property in under four minutes which was so assuring.
The culprit got away in a car standing by that had most likely dropped him off.
The moral to this story is do not leave anything in your car parked in your garage most importantly the Keys~~


Posted by Lloyden Park Res
a resident of Atherton: Lloyden Park
on Jul 1, 2021 at 2:50 pm

Lloyden Park Res is a registered user.

Someone broke into our garage just this weekend and stole bikes, backpacks and shoes. Atherton police were super prompt and helpful. Keep your doors locked, lights on and cameras on.


Posted by Thoughtful
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 4, 2021 at 7:50 am

Thoughtful is a registered user.

"Atherton police were super prompt and helpful."

In the aftermath of the robbery, not preventing it.

The town council has to come to grips with the fact that the policing model currently in Atherton is not going to adequately address the wave of break ins and robberies, and this will get worse and worse over time as more and more resources are put into compensating existing officers instead of hiring new ones.

(See article on budget: "A little over $9 million will go toward the police department, an increase from last year's police budget of $8.4 million, to account for some additional expenses, including the purchase of a new squad car, as well as increased salary and benefits costs." – $600K increase in budget, an increase of 7%, which is substantially higher than inflation, with ZERO going to new policing).

They obviously don't like having to face this reality, because the union has done an excellent job of sticking their thumb on the scale, but Atherton must move to an outsourced police model with professional private patrol, not residents doing the patrol as outlined in this article, which perhaps was done in response to my repeated suggestions.


Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jul 4, 2021 at 8:35 am

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

Thoughtful:

Yes, the town can and should get their policing done for less money. But changing to the Sheriff won't solve the problem. The problem is that given the configuration of Atherton and the fact that most homes in Atherton are behind walls, the only way police find out there is a burglary is after the fact or if an alarm goes off.

Part of this burglary problem is the responsibility of the residents. Virtually every home in Atherton has an alarm system. BUT, not everyone arms them. In fact, I'd hazard the guess that most don't. And THAT is the problem. Alarms in Atherton, unlike any other city in the Bay Area, allow the alarm to be connected directly to their dispatch center. If it is and the alarm is armed, the police will be there in less than four minutes of an alarm going off.

If the citizens of Atherton want to cut down on burglaries they need to take responsibility for their part of it. I know that it's very difficult for wealthy people to take responsibility, but they have to. Otherwise this problem will continue. A walled residence with an unarmed alarm system is a very soft target and the crooks know most people in Atherton aren't arming their alarms.


Posted by Thoughtful
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 4, 2021 at 9:24 am

Thoughtful is a registered user.

@Menlo Voter:

Quite a few homes without walls have also been burglarized in the past year. If private patrol were rigorously driving our streets, thieves would have to think twice about parking in front of a walled residence. Or trying to leave and enter the town on foot.

Most homes in Bel Air are behind walls also, but they utilize private patrol very effectively and are not having this wave of thefts. Private patrol has worked there, in conjunction with the LA PD/Sheriff they outsource to.

Of course, alarms are necessary, but do garages have alarms, as in Lloyden Park Res's theft? Or cars parked in a driveway?

You bring up a valid point, but I have not been reading the articles or press releases about thieves breaking into an alarmed home, and the alarm going off, and APD getting there to catch them or at least stop the burglary. It can't be that the thieves have been 100% accurate in predicting the homes they break into are not alarmed. In fact, a lot of the burglaries have happened during the day with the residents in the home.

If the alarm were the 100% answer, we could be saving $9M per year. Unfortunately, it's not.


Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jul 5, 2021 at 7:59 am

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

Thoughtful:

I never suggested alarms were a 100% answer. They are a big piece of the puzzle, however. Private patrols would be a great addition to either APD or if the town contracted with the Sheriff. I've never understood why private patrols weren't a part of Atherton's crime prevention efforts. They're cheap and a great way to supply many extra eyes on the street.

They could also do like Monte Sereno did years ago and contract with the adjacent town's police department. They are covered by Los Gatos PD. Atherton could easily contract with Menlo Park PD.


Posted by lspw
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 11, 2021 at 4:29 pm

lspw is a registered user.

And keep all doors locked during the daytime!! One Sunday a well-groomed guy walked into our home via the attached garage (via 2 unlocked doors), but left quickly and without incident when I confronted him inside the house. He was no doubt hopeful that he'd see something that he could grab quickly and run. In hearing his description, the MPPD believed that he was a guy who had acted similarly in other cases. (We live adjacent to Atherton.)


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