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San Mateo, CA Police Department
Monday April 29th, 2019 :: 06:08 p.m. PDT


SMPD Asks for Community's Help to Prevent Auto Burglaries

For Immediate Release No. 20190429-29
Monday, April 29, 2019
SMPD Asks for Community’s Help to Prevent Auto Burglaries
While the San Mateo Police Department continues to make arrests of auto burglars, we ask for active prevention participation by our residents and those visiting our city.
San Mateo, CA – The men and women of the San Mateo Police Department have been scouring our neighborhoods looking for opportunistic property crime suspects and taking them to jail! During the first quarter of 2019, SMPD has made no less than 15 arrests of auto burglars targeting vehicles in both residential and commercial areas within the city. However, within the last couple of weeks, we have seen an increase in auto burglaries occurring at our local shopping centers. Thieves have specifically targeted Hillsdale Mall, the Bridgepointe Shopping Center, Marina Shopping Center, and Parkside Plaza. We have increased uniformed patrols as well as undercover surveillance at these locations, but we implore our community to partner with us and take preventative measures to protect yourself from falling victim. Together, we can show crooks that we are not a target rich environment.

How can you help? It’s simple. Don’t leave valuables in plain view! Better yet, don’t leave them in your vehicle at all. This includes electronics, backpacks (regardless if they are empty or not), wallets, luggage, purses, etc. It takes only seconds to break a window and steal your property - in and out that quickly! If you must leave valuable items inside your car, place them in the trunk PRIOR to arriving at your destination. Thieves surveil the area before they target your vehicle. You don’t want them watching as you move items to your trunk.

Lock your doors! Sounds silly we know, but you may have a million things on your mind and locking your doors might not be one of them. Consider a mental checklist as you exit your vehicle. For example, are my valuables hidden, windows rolled up, doors locked, did I hear the beep of my alarm?  

Be aware of your surroundings. Did you park in a well-traveled/well-lit area? Are you in an area where there are a lot of cars (target rich) and what makes yours more appealing than the next? Are you in a rental vehicle (believe it or not, these are high priority for crooks). Do you see subject(s) walking up and down the aisle of the parking lot looking into vehicles? If you see something suspicious, please call SMPD immediately, (650)522-7700. We will ask you questions like what the person was wearing, direction of travel, associated vehicle/license plate etc. 

If your vehicle was broken into, call SMPD and do not touch or adjust anything in, on or around your vehicle so that we can process it for evidence.  

For more information on Crime Prevention and Safety Tips, visit our City of San Mateo Police page. Here is a link to safety tips for vehicle break-ins:                                                                           
San Mateo Police Media Relations • (650) 522-7626 •
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San Mateo, CA Police Department
200 Franklin Pkwy
San Mateo, CA 94403

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 650-522-7700

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