SAN CARLOS, Calif. (KGO) --The San Mateo County Sheriff's Office is adding extra patrols in the county due to a huge jump in home burglaries.
Burglars have been hitting empty homes, looking for unlocked windows and doors and prying them open if they can.
In June, there were 25 home burglaries in San Carlos, Portola Valley, Woodside and other unincorporated areas mostly in the southern part of the county. In the last week of June, 11 burglaries occurred, compared to just three at the same time last year.
"We are heightening our uniformed personnel in the various areas, that there's more of a command presence," Deputy Rebecca Rosenblatt said. "Obviously sometimes just seeing people in uniform can be a deterrent."
Sheriff's investigators want to know if there may be a tie to Highway 92, if the burglars are coming from out of town and jumping off the freeway into the nearby communities.
Dan Barnes' neighbor was recently a victim on White Oak Way in San Carlos. "There were five people asleep in the house and somebody broke in and ransacked the place," Barnes said.
There have been several burglaries on the street. Residents have formed a neighborhood watch network on social media where they exchange information about suspicious occurrences.
"Somebody knocked on my door, a white van had been parked outside my house -- that sort of thing," one resident said.
Police said social media crime alerts are paying off. In neighboring Belmont, home burglaries are down from last year.
"We're soliciting people to come forward as witnesses," Captain Pat Halloran of the Belmont Police Department said. "If they have a camera, to check their cameras and provide us with video if they have it."
The advice from the sheriff's office is to lock doors and shut windows when leaving the house. Burglars, they say, commit crimes when opportunity knocks.