SAN MATEO (KCBS) – Twelve homes in East San Mateo were burglarized in October by a team that has been knocking on doors during weekdays pretending to be salespeople, police said.

The burglars look for houses where no one is home by going door to door pretending to be selling a product or service, said Sgt. Dave Norris with the San Mateo Police Department.

“This is right now the hot way for these suspects to conduct their burglary activities,” Norris said, adding that burglaries with the same motif are on the rise in the Bay Area and statewide.

KCBS’ Margie Shafer Reports:

Victims of the October burglaries lost jewelry and electronics, Norris said.

They might seem like nosy neighbors, but Norris pointed out most in-progress burglary arrests happen because of someone who take the time to call the police about unusual activity in their area.

One woman who lives in the affected neighborhood east of US Highway 101, Janelle Chin, said her neighbors tend to look out for each other. She praised her husband’s reputation for being chatty.

“It’s a good thing, so we know what’s going on, particularly with the kids,” she said.

Chin said they put two dogs out front and two dogs out back when they are not home.

Having dogs or making sure doors and windows are locked are really just the first layer of security, Norris said, suggesting residents also consider installing alarm systems or starting neighborhood watch programs.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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