Palo Alto police looking for ‘Dinnertime Home Burglary Crew’ after month-long string of break-ins

Palo Alto police looking for ‘Dinnertime Home Burglary Crew’ after  month-long string of break-ins
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By Wesley Severson - Published on November 08, 2022.

Police in Palo Alto are looking for a group of criminals that they are calling the Dinnertime Home Burglary Crew. Apparently, the team of bandits burglarized 11 Palo Alto homes between October 9th and November 5th in neighborhoods scattered around the city, but all near major roadways. In a news release sent to KPIX, PAPD stated that "the trend indicates the crimes are occurring in unoccupied homes between 7 and 9 p.m., often on Friday and Saturday nights, in multiple neighborhoods of town, usually with entry being made via smashing glass doors in rear yards. Some of the homes have had alarms sound; other homes have not had their alarms armed. In all cases, the homes have been unoccupied at the time of the crimes."

Investigators released a list of where all the burglaries occurred, with two of them happening at homes not far from each other on Briarwood Way on the same night of October 28th. Most of the burglaries are being pulled off on Friday or Saturday nights, with the crooks looking for expensive items like jewelry and firearms. In one case, the brazen burglars targeted a sizable safe with nine guns inside. "These particular suspects were very bold, and the fact that they actually dragged one of the safes out with a blanket dragging it downstairs, making a lot of noise, dragging it out of a house. Not really caring, it seems, if anyone saw them do that," Sgt. Brian Philip with the Palo Alto Police Department told KTVU.

One victim who wanted to remain anonymous told KTVU that she caught the suspects on her home surveillance cameras as they broke in, ransacked the house, then took off with items in a pillowcase. "Lots of jewelry, fine jewelry, small [items] like electronics and cash," The homeowner said. Police apparently have other security footage, but they aren’t sharing it yet with the public. They say the suspects typically wear hoodies, masks, and gloves.

Police want to know whether the Dinnertime Home Burglary Crew is staking out residences beforehand, which allows them to always strike when no one is home. "It's a question we're asking too. How are they picking these particular residences? And so part of the investigation will be to look at all of those things. Are they being tipped off? Do they have intimate knowledge of the places that they're going into?" Philip told KTVU. Either way, they are telling people in the neighborhoods where the burglaries occurred to stay alert, lock all windows and doors, and turn on their alarms and security cameras.