A general view of the Stanford University campus on October 2, 2021, in Palo Alto, California.

A general view of the Stanford University campus on October 2, 2021, in Palo Alto, California.

David Madison/Getty Images

Eleven homes were recently burglarized in “the birthplace of Silicon Valley,” the Palo Alto Police Department said in a Nov. 6 news release, describing the alleged incidents as “dinnertime burglaries.”

The suspected burglaries, which took place in the south end of Palo Alto near Tesla headquarters and Stanford University, are part of a “trend,” the release said. In October and November, alleged thieves stole jewelry, firearms and other valuables from homes while owners were out between 7 and 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. After smashing glass backdoors, the alleged burglars tore rooms apart in search of jewelry and safes, police said. 

Despite its posh reputation, Palo Alto experiences its share of home burglaries. There were 179 reported instances of burglary in 2021, city data shows — a decrease from the 243 reports the year before. 

Palo Alto Police Department acting Lt. David Lee says the recent string of robberies may be related, however. “There is somewhat of a pattern that you can conclude,” Lee told SFGATE over the phone. 

Palo Alto is among the wealthiest communities in the Bay Area. As of September 2022, homes in the area sold for a median price of about $2.9 million, according to Redfin, and the average income per resident was $97,307 per year, according to the Census Bureau data collected from 2016 to 2020. Households made a median annual income of over $174,000 during that same period.  

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