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Posted on: February 13, 2019

Auto Burglaries are on the Rise – 11 suspects arrested in 8 days

Despite several recent arrests and additional police resources, the City of Fremont has experienced a significant rise in auto burglaries since the first of the year.

Since the first of the year, 296 auto burglaries have been reported to our Department.  Beginning in 2015 and peaking in 2017, the Department experienced a significant spike in auto burglaries.  In response, several new strategies were implemented.  Marked and unmarked police resources have been patrolling shopping centers, detectives are working with property owners to bring awareness to the crime and post signage, community engagement staff has developed educational campaigns and our special investigative unit has helped facilitate the installation of private video at commercial center entrance and exits.  Additionally, the Department’s Investigative Unit uncovered a large multi-million dollar international fencing operation resulting in the disruption of a major crime ring in the East Bay.  The case was highly publicized and helped to uncover the intricacies of the black market for small electronics and laptops.  A total of 2,000 devices were recovered during our investigation.

Unfortunately, demand is still high and the primary loss continues to be laptops.  Approximately 50% of our recent victims are local and the others are from out of the area.  Most of the crimes are occurring in retail parking lots, where there is a higher likelihood of valuables being left in cars while people patronize shops, restaurants, movie theaters and gyms.  This is not a sophisticated crime and only takes a couple of seconds.  Suspects drive into a parking lot and a passenger begins to look through windows of cars. When they see a bag believed to contain a laptop, they smash the window and grab the item.   Based on video and license plate reader data we have, suspects are driving vehicles with stolen plates.   Often times, the plates are stolen and discarded before the victim even knows their plate was taken or swapped.   The most common time of day is evening, after dark, however we have also taken reports during the day.

Fremont is not alone.  Over the last several weeks, agencies throughout the Bay Area have been busy investigating these crimes.  Due to the increase Fremont has experienced, Units have once again shifted priorities to investigate these crimes.  Since doing this, patrol officers and detectives have arrested 11 suspects for auto burglaries committed in our City over the last eight days.  Many of the suspects have prior arrest history for theft and burglary.  We are partnering with the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office Special Prosecution Unit, committed to going after prolific offenders, as we propose charges on each of these cases.   

Despite our continued efforts, the numbers continue to rise. Between Monday and Tuesday of this week, 22 reports were taken.   Over the next several days and longer if needed, patrol and investigative resources will increase patrol checks and staffing in the areas where we have experienced the highest number of crimes, additional educations materials will be produced and distributed and we will continue to work with private property owners to encourage installation of video.  We also need the community’s partnership to help impact this crime.  Making ourselves less vulnerable and deterring suspects from coming to our City is our highest priority and goal.

What can you do? 

-        Remove ALL valuables from your parked car

  • Share this information with your friends, neighbors and co-workers (feel free to share our posts to your social media accounts
  • Be vigilant and report suspicious vehicles and activity
  • Install video
  • If you routinely travel or use your vehicle for work, consider purchasing a trunk storage case that can be locked and secured to your vehicle.

To report suspicious activity, please contact the Fremont Police Department at 510-790-6800 x 3.  To report a crime in progress, dial 911.

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