Association's Goal Association's Boundaries Home Page Association's Accomplishments Contact the Association
Doin' Crime
What's up in the 'hood
by Lauren Forcement
September 2005

Mail Theft in Willow Glen

In September 2005 a resident in the Curtner area surprised two women in the act of stealing her mail (in the guise of delivering a package. Mail from many surrounding streets was recovered as they fled.

Take precautions. Don't put out mail where it can be seen from the street or yard. Don't put out mail that contains valuables such as checks. Don't let packages be delivered to your doorstep - inform UPS and FedEx not to leave unattended packages, or put out a latched bin so that packages cannot be seen. A little precaution goes a long way toward discouraging thieves.


Opportunity Thefts!

In July 2005 neighbors are reporting a sharp increase in thefts of opportunity. Many have observed young men walking the neighborhood, peering onto porches and down driveways, and making off with mail packages, children's toys, tools or anything they find. The perps are brash and may enter back yards or open up cars to rifle them.

Neighbors need to

  • "remove the food source" - take everything out of reach of these thieves. If they do not find anything, they will stop coming to our neighborhood
  • do not let UPS or FedEx leave packages at your door. Specify that they are to be left with a neighbor or redelivered
  • be vigilant. Keep an eye on your street and dial 9-1-1 if you see anything suspicious, such as pedestrians or bike riders moving slowly down the street


Car Stolen

In April 2005 someone stole a new MDX out of a driveway on Marshall between 8:30 and 8:45am. Keys were in the car and the motor running while the owner went back inside for a moment. Police arrived within 5 minutes of the 911 call (quite impressive - they were in the neighborhood!). Anyone with information should call the San Jose police at 3-1-1.

This is a good time to remind everyone to keep your possessions locked up at all times.


April 2005 = There's been a spike in dangerous criminal activity in neighborhoods close to North Willow Glen. People in North Willow Glen should be extra alert for signs of trouble, particularly gang-related, and not hesitate to call 9-1-1 if something suspicious is brewing.

Shooting on Willow Street

At about 8:30pm on March 7, a young man was shot to death at 646 Willow Street (near the intersection with Spencer). According to the police report, he was outside the home when a group of 5-7 men approached, a confrontation ensued and the man was killed. A 16-year-old was subsequently arrested and arraigned for the gang-related murder. Police are looking for more information about the crime.

According to an article in the Willow Glen Resident, the victim was trying to extricate himself from gang involvement, and had recently moved away from East San Jose to the house on Willow.

Gunfire on Jerome

In February 2005 someone fired shots into a back yard on Jerome Street (north of Fuller Avenue), but apparently no one was hit. Police report that the incident may be linked to an instance of gunfire in the Alma neighborhood, and a heat-up of graffiti wars involving a gang based in the Gardner neighborhood.

Thieves on Bicycles

We've gotten reports for a while of thieves on bicycles casing our neighborhood - in particular these guys try car doors, hoping to find an unlocked car they can rifle for cellphones and other valuables. They also look for opportunities to do a home burglary. The latest has been stealing mail packages off a front porch.

They have gotten more bold and persistent in recent weeks. We have had an attempted burglary on Snyder, car break-ins on Marshall, Delmas and other streets, and the mail theft on Coe. Car windows actually get removed, to be stealthy and foil alarms. Some attempts have been foiled by alert neighbors. They happen at any time, not just at night.

Lesson: ALWAYS keep your cars locked. Don't leave them unlocked (or worse still, unlocked and running) even for a moment. Think about clearing out that clutter and garaging your car. Watch for bicyclists that seem out of place or suspicious. If you see something that's not right, CALL IT IN to 911 immediately.

Some words of advice from neighbor Deb Hollis:

I have always been proactive about foot traffic or strangers sitting in
cars in our area, taking license plates or making sure they SAW me watching
them while talking on the cell phone. Even people with dogs. If I don't know who they are, I make some kind of friendly contact- say hello, start a
conversation, ask what street they live on while I inquire of their animals.

We have had a HUGE increase of garbage scavengers lately- and I always
speak to them, advise them that it is a crime to pick through the recycles, and that *I* know that *they* know they are breaking the law and should move on before I phone the PD. Many of the problems with minor theft and damage come from transients in any area, people who have no ties or feelings of responsibility to the area or remorse if they take from people they don't know or care about.

Many of us that have never locked our cars in years are doing so every
night these days to discourage easy pickings. We are taking in our easily
portable cute decorations and plants, and not letting the kids leave bikes and things where they can be seen from the streets.

Please remember to CALL and report each and every act of vandalism or
theft- no matter how small- to the PD and make SURE they come out and take a report (it IS the SJ policy to do so, and if you hear otherwise, contact the Chief's office directly) so that the patrol units know about increased problems and can pay more attention to the areas in question.

Burglary prevention -
Advice from SJPD

Nine out of 10 residential burglaries happen because a door or window was left unlocked. The following is a list of burglary prevention and vacation safety tips:

* Make sure all doors and windows are locked, even at night when the
residence is occupied

* If you have an alarm, turn it on. You can obtain an inexpensive
portable from a hardware store

* Display "beware of dog" signs

* Make an inventory list of valuable items

* Get to know your neighbors

If you are going to be on vacation make sure you do the following:

* Lock all doors and windows

* Place a padlock on the garage door or disable power

* Have a neighbor or family member collect your mail, newspaper and
circulars daily

* Use automatic light timers for interior/exterior lights

If you suspect criminal activity in your neighborhood, call 9-1-1 immediately. Cell phone users should call 408 277-8911 for emergency service. For more information on burglary prevention or to schedule a Neighborhood Watch meeting, call the Community Services Division at (408) 277-4133 to speak with a Crime Prevention Specialist.

Copyright 2005