Home Main Category Announcements Cat Burglars Sweep Southern Burton Valley Homes – While Residents Sleep

Cat Burglars Sweep Southern Burton Valley Homes – While Residents Sleep

Missing your car keys? Photo: LPD

Lafayette police are investigating an unsettling series of burglaries in the Southern Burton Valley Area of the city Wednesday – incidents investigators say appear to be related and which illustrate the level to which thieves are willing to go to get what they want.

Residential Burglary 3100 Block of Cordova Way – The resident is in their home and goes to bed at midnight. When they awake in the morning, they find that someone has been inside their home and has searched several areas of the home. The residents wallet was removed from the home as well as a cell phone and other property. LPD Officers responded to the area and found the side gate to the home was unsecured and entry was made to the home through an unlocked window. LPD CSI personnel collected various items of evidence from the home. Entry to the home was made after midnight and before 5 a.m.

Petty Theft from Vehicle 3100 Block of Rohrer Drive – A neighbor out walking found a man’s wallet laying in the roadway of Cordova Way. The resident searched the wallet and found that it belonged to a resident on Rohrer Drive. They return the wallet to the owner and discover the wallet was taken from an unlocked vehicle in the driveway of the home. The resident was unaware their wallet had been taken from the vehicle. The vehicle was unlocked in the driveway of the home overnight. The wallet was likely taken from the vehicle between 10 p.m. and 4:30 a.m.

Residential Burglary 3100 Block of Cordova Way – The resident arrives home on February 28 and goes to bed. When they awake in the morning, they find a strange set of keys laying on a chair within their home. When they examined the interior of the home, they find that someone has been inside their home and has taken their purse. When they exit their home, they find their car has been searched as well. LPD Officers find the car was unlocked, the side gate allowed easy access to the rear yard and the rear sliding glass door to the home was left unlocked. CSI personnel collected various items of evidence from the home.

Residential Burglary 500 Block of Hunsaker Canyon Road – The resident arrives home at 10:30 p.m. (2/28/17) parking their car in front of their home. After entering their home, they leave their purse in the entryway of the home. When they awoke the next morning, they found their purse missing and other items within the home disturbed. LPD Officers found the front door to the home was left unlocked overnight. CSI personnel responded to the home and processed the home for evidence. Evidence was collected from the home.

Lafayette police chief Eric Christensen said all of these crimes were preventable, stressing the need for residents to lock their windows and doors. Police called the crimes “concerning,” as strangers were inside homes while residents were asleep inside.

Investigators said the suspects arrived in the neighborhood to look through unlocked cars for valuables. While here, they found one home with the side access gate completely removed – giving them access to the rear of the home. At the rear of the home, they found an unlocked window in a home office. They removed the screen and climbed into the occupied home (what police refer to as a “Cat Burglary”).

Once inside the home the suspect(s) searched the home, while residents slept several doors away. This same pattern was repeated at two additional residences in the area. These suspects never broke a window, never pried a door. They just accessed the rear yards of the homes, where they found unlocked points of entry.


  1. You can’t make this stuff up. Anything further said would be inappropriate, and against my better judgment.

  2. Criminals have always exploited those who don’t exhibit a little common sense, whether it be those who send money to their “grandson” supposedly under arrest in a foreign land to folks who don’t take basic precautions such as locking their windows and doors.

  3. If we can’t arrest these shitheads can’t we just tar and feather them a little before turning them over to police???

  4. @Gregg – That is no way to treat Cary Grant. He made a charming retired cat burglar in To Catch a Thief.

    • @Tom – Something tells us these guys don’t look anything like Mr. Grant, who we will say was one cool looking guy – and we don’t say that often. But you never know, there was that hopefully former burglary/semi-bad dude from Stockton who set female hearts aflutter with his booking photo and is now walking the runways as a model in New Yawk. Go figure…

  5. Bastards. If I find you tiptoeing through my house some night it will be your last night. Just saying.

  6. Bought some lockable gates when we fenced our yard. And added an extra foot to the overall height just for this reason. I’ve watched to many people come and go into neighborhood homes and once they are in the backyard they could be doing anything they want. The downside is we don’t get our meter checked as often but when you think about that’s not such a bad downside!

  7. Is it possible these people are local? They sure seem to know their way around. And they seem comfortable enough to walk through our homes with people inside. Thoughts?

    • @Denise – Anything is possible, Denise. We did get people who wrote us here saying the description of the car given for the Orinda burglary sounded familiar, saying they had seen the car in the area before.

  8. Seems almost organized. Do you think the burglars communicate with one each other??? You hit this week we’ll come back in two.

    • @Ms. Santos – Organized? Perhaps at some level, though we believe there are several groups at work in the area and they don’t have board meetings to discuss their plans. We do know that people in jail at the same time seem to share information about potential targets, e.g. “big house, lots of tvs,” etc. We defer to law enforcement, as they are talking with these people (maybe) when they are caught, but most of these may be more a case of sheer dumb luck and desperation on the part of the crook than any master thief thing.

  9. At what point do you have to lock yourself in your own cell to be safe? Yes, some common sense helps but people are willing to go into your home in the middle of the night while your sleeping. Sorry, but Lafayette PD answer is don’t feed the bears while as a resident, both my wife and I have gotten tickets/citations every time without a warning or consideration on some legitimate and some questionable reasons for the traffic citation Why? it certainly must be easier for an officer to give a local resident doing no harm a traffic citation in the middle of the day then it is to deal with someone suspicious at 3 am. Ok, will end my gripe

    I will also state that most of the time I don’t lock my car at home anymore because if I did mistakenly leave my wallet or phone in there it is a quick breaking of the window and stuff is gone. Now I get to deal with a broken window on top of things. Instead, accepted the fact that every six or so months someone will go into my car and empty the glove box again like they did six months ago.

  10. I have to agree somewhat with Tim E above. We live around the corner from where all of this occurred and my husband has had his car broken into twice in the last 3 years. The vehicle has been parked on the street; in front of our house, locked with an alarm. How they manage to break the glass and ransack the vehicle w/o the alarm going off is still a mystery to us and the police. Perhaps it would be better to just leave it unlocked w/ NOTHING inside so they can take a peep for themselves w/o breaking windows/glass.

    • @Audrey – Hi, you and your husband are not alone, sadly, as we see this all the time. The Bad Dudes are using a variety of instruments to defeat car windows and alarms and can be inside your car in a few seconds and gone a few more later. We’ve watched this happen in the city, on the phone with the PD as a trio of guys systematically defeated a row of about 10 cars (They like Toyotas) and loaded the pilfered goods, everything from spare tires to computers, into a car trailing behind them as they went. They were gone by the time the dispatcher was still taking down our description. It is unfortunate and it happens and they are organized…

  11. We law abiding citizens really need to consider repealing Proposition 47. Auto and residential burglars need to do hard time, no probation or early release. I’m sick of this pity for criminals culture that seems to have taken hold in California. We are the ones who pay the price.

Leave a Reply