Car break-ins are on the rise in Milpitas after 145 reported in first 2 months of the year

MILPITAS, Calif. (KGO) -- Milpitas police say that 145 car break-ins have been reported in the first two months of this year. Eighty-eight were reported in January and 57 in February.

A month ago, Bahavu Agustine's car window was smashed while he was eating at a restaurant in Milpitas Square.

"I just ran outside and saw someone smash the rear glass and my laptop was gone," said Agustine.

According to Milpitas, police suspects tend to target isolated areas in parking lots and retail shopping centers.

"We also have been seeing a trend lately that people are securing those items in their trunk but vehicles are being broken into and the rear seats are being pulled down and they're looking into the trunks to see if anything is in there," said Milpitas police Lt. John Torres.

Lt. Torres said they're increasing patrols at Ulfert's Center, Milpitas Square, McCarthy Ranch, and the Great Mall of the Bay Area.

"They spy you and they break in the window, depending where are you, they spy on you and keep in contact over the phone," said Milpitas Square security Ronald Melespin.

Updated caution signs have been placed around shopping centers that read: "Do not leave any valuable items in the car."

Business owners and managers are alerting customers about this rash of break-ins.

"We tend to tell our customers to not leave valuables in the cars and they say they're hidden. People don't think it's going to happen to them," said restaurant manager Johnny Nguyen.

Surveillance video from targeted parking lots are being used during this investigation.

To report a break-in Milpitas call (408) 586-2400. Information can also be given anonymously by calling the Crime Tip Hotline at (408) 586-2500.
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