Over the past several months, many of you have reached out about the growing trend of residential burglaries. While this is not unique to our town, it is nonetheless important to all of us in this town. We at the Tiburon Police Department want our community to have updated information, safety tips, and a clear line of communication. This letter is designed to provide that. Events like these rightfully raise concern amongst our community members and can lead to unintentional and, in some cases, intentional proliferation of misinformation. TPD hosted a Town Hall meeting last Thursday night which was recorded and available for your viewing on the Town's website.
I want to reassure you, our community members, that your Tiburon Police Department is using every resource available to us to both prevent further burglaries and to identify and apprehend those responsible. Along with our efforts, teamwork with our community will supercharge our efforts in addressing this crime trend.
Since June of 2021, the Town of Tiburon has had 20 reported residential burglaries and/or attempts. The most recent trend began on December 31, 2021, and accounts for nine (9) of the above reported cases. Except for four (4) of the cases in which the attempted mode of entry and/or the stolen property were different, all the cases involved suspects gaining entry by force (breaking glass and/or forcing open) via glass doors. Of the 20 burglaries, only two (2) involved occupied homes. In both instances, the suspects immediately fled the scene upon learning the homes were occupied. In almost all the burglaries, the targeted homes were unoccupied, with residents who were out of town or otherwise away for prolonged periods of time and involved the theft jewelry and other smaller valuables. The suspects tend do go directly to bedrooms to find the valuables they seek and are in and out within minutes.
We believe the suspects in most of our Tiburon cases are part of a sophisticated and skilled network of burglars who are associated with similar burglaries throughout the Bay Area and the State. The suspects take precautions to confirm the target homes are unoccupied and avoid detection, such as wearing gloves, facemasks, and clothing that covers identifiable features. In all the similar cases from our area and elsewhere, there is currently NO EVIDENCE the suspects have been armed and/or have confronted any occupants; however, we do not advocate for confronting these individuals. Our priority is your safety. These crimes are not unique to Tiburon and other Southern Marin jurisdictions that have also been experiencing the same trend. Large and small law enforcement agencies throughout the Bay Area, State and nationally have been grappling with similar crimes.
Your Tiburon Police Department is using the data available about these crimes to employ both high- and low- profile burglary suppression tactics. These include deploying both covert and overt patrols, messages boards alerting would-be burglars coming into town of police presence, and specialized technology to augment our Automated License Plate License Readers (ALPRs). Additionally, we are coordinating our efforts with other local law enforcement agencies in Marin County and the greater Bay Area as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to ensure the timely sharing of valuable investigative information. Tiburon Police Department is continuing to commitment to transparency by sharing timely information with our community relevant to this crime trend. We are also working with neighborhoods who wish to start a Neighborhood Watch program.
We need your help to be successful in our efforts to combat this crime trend. Successful crime prevention and mitigation strategies require collaboration with our community. We simply are ineffective without the community’s help. Here are some things you can do to help us:
- Consider updating your alarm systems by adding second story motion sensors and glass break sensors on large glass windows and doors.
- Consider installing an audible alarm feature loud enough to not only cause discomfort for those inside and for neighbors to hear.
- Consider installing good security surveillance cameras both inside and outside your home. Ensure that exterior cameras capture footage of the access points to your property to include the street and sidewalk area in front. Register your cameras with the Tiburon Police Department, which makes it easier for our officers to know which houses to go to when investigating these types of crimes in your neighborhood.
- When you leave your home attempt to make it appear occupied by putting lights and televisions on timers.
- When away on vacation, consider a house sitter and/or alert your neighbors or other trusted person to check on the property regularly. Ensure that mail and packages are either postponed or picked up.
- Consider signing up for a Vacation House Check with Tiburon Police Department. Note that due to the volume of these and resource availability, we limited the house checks to a 30-day max per sign up; however, you may sign up more than once nonconsecutively. If you are frequently away from home for prolonged periods of time, you may want to consider private security.
- If you “see something, say something.” Call right away and use 9-1-1 to report suspicious activity, such as cars and/or people that appear to be surveilling homes or people in open-space and greenbelt areas in evening hours. Be prepared to describe the individuals and the suspicious activity. Safety also means reducing the likelihood of an unnecessary police encounter with someone who is not doing anything suspicious or illegal.
- If you would like more information about or wish to start Neighborhood Watch in your neighborhood, please contact Police Service Aide, Angie Delnevo, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Your safety and quality of life is paramount to me and my staff. We appreciate and do not take for granted the level of support this community has for us. Your Tiburon Police Department is here for you. Call us if you need us.
Yours in service,
Ryan M. Monaghan