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Spike in Car Burglaries in Palo Alto

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PALO ALTO, Calif. (KCBS) _ There has been a recent spike in the number of car burglaries in the city of Palo Alto.

From August 16-27, 28 car burglaries have been reported, many in the downtown area.

“In some cases, vehicles have been left unlocked with the windows rolled down,” said Police Agent Max Nielepko. “But most of the time, it takes only a matter of seconds for a thief to see something of value, smash the window, take it and be gone.”

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Nielepko said in some cases, the bad guys may be capitalizing on back-to-school shopping trips.

“We have made several arrests. However, even after the arrests, the break-ins have continued,” he said. “So we think there are multiple parties out there doing this.”

Palo Alto resident Cammie Bright said she is surprised by the news and that she’ll try to park her car in a garage next time.

But Celeste Birkhofer said the break-ins are not that surprising given the state of the economy.

“People are desperate right now,” she said. “And probably going to any lengths to break-in and get something valuable and sell it.”

Police are reminding drivers to not leave valuables in the car, or if they have to, hide them in the trunk.

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