Residential burglaries are trending in cities throughout the county and the collaboration of several law enforcement agencies led to an arrest of a woman suspected of multiple burglaries Monday.
Mekeila Zayas, a 22-year-old San Francisco woman, was arrested after evading police and being suspected of at least two residential burglaries in Millbrae and San Bruno, San Bruno police Lt. Troy Fry said.
Burglars tend to hit multiple residences consecutively and often across city and county lines. Recently four homes were burglarized in San Bruno in the course of a day, Fry said.
“Multiple agencies are working together trying to catch these residential burglars that are breaking into homes and vehicles all over the county,” Fry said.
Monday’s arrest spanned across three cities and involved multiple citizens and law enforcement agencies.
It started when a Millbrae resident interrupted their home being burglarized and called police who immediately issued a countywide alert for three suspects in a green Honda, Fry said. San Bruno police were patrolling for burglars when a resident interrupted a home burglary on Fleetwood Drive. During that burglary, the resident reported hearing someone knock on the door but did not answer. He heard breaking glass and noticed three people trying to break into the home, according to police.
Police saw the suspects flee in a car matching the description of the suspects in the Millbrae burglary and began to follow it before eventually losing sight, Fry said.
Shortly after, a Daly City police officer located the vacant car parked in San Francisco. Zayas eventually appeared and entered the car, Fry said. While police attempted to stop the car, Zayas drove off and a chase ensued, Fry said.
Zayas was eventually apprehended and booked into San Mateo County Jail, according to police.
San Bruno has experienced a recent increase in residential burglaries with similar motives and wants the public to remain diligent in protecting themselves and helping catch criminals.
“There’s been a huge increase in [residential burglaries] in the last few months, but it’s not just us. It’s all over the place,” Fry said.
The thieves are using similar tactics and often commit crimes in groups. One familiar tactic is having one suspect knock on the door to see if anyone is home, Fry said. If someone is home, they typically come up with a ruse, such as claiming to be a sales or service person, to explain their presence and leave. If the burglars believe the home is vacant, they will check the perimeter of the home to find an unlocked window or door and sometimes break glass barriers to enter the property, Fry said.
It’s important for residents to avoid leaving garbage cans out, newspapers on their door steps or any other signs that someone might be away from the home, Fry said. People should ensure all entries to their homes are locked. Different types of security measures such as alarm systems, dogs, surveillance cameras or light sensors can add further layers of protection, according to police.
If anyone suspects anything suspicious or notices a person who seems out of place, they should immediately contact police, Fry said.
“[Burglars] don’t limit themselves to one area,” Fry said. “The people who do this, it’s their job, just like we have jobs, they get up every day and commit burglaries every day.”