Business park 'plagued' by thefts

While auto burglaries are fairly common in San Ramon, employees at one office park have fallen victim to a rash of thefts from their cars and places of employment. Over the past two weeks, there have been 10 auto and commercial burglaries and grand thefts in and around Bishop Ranch.

"We've been plagued in the last couple weeks with residential burglaries, auto burglaries and commercial burglaries from offices or businesses," said San Ramon Police Investigations Sgt. Cary Goldberg.

Between Tuesday, Jan. 10 and Friday, Jan. 20, several cars and businesses were broken into at or near Bishop Ranch 2 and the Target shopping center. On Jan. 10, a business' window was smashed at Bishop Ranch 6 on Camino Ramon and one laptop was stolen. Most recently, burglars pried open doors to a business at 2680 Bishop Drive and stole a projector worth approximately $300 from one of the conference rooms.

On the night of Jan. 15, the doors to three businesses in the same complex were pried open and a total of 15 laptops stolen. San Ramon Police estimate that the electronics were worth a collective $17,200.

"It was a big bummer," said an employee of one of the victim businesses. Her employer is currently in the process of moving several items off site.

Several auto burglaries also occurred in front of Pasta Pomodoro and Whole Foods around 8 p.m. on Jan. 20. Police suspect those thefts are related to two window-smash burglaries in front of Chevy's on San Ramon Valley Boulevard that night.

"People are leaving briefcases, computers, computer bags in plain view in parking lots. People look in, then smash the window and take them," said San Ramon Police Lt. Tom LaRoque. "The commercial part, the Bishop Drive part, is a little more than what we'd normally get."

Although Bishop Ranch does not oversee its shopping center neighbor, Bishop Ranch General Manager Alex Mehran Jr. said his company is tracking when thefts occur and taking measures to increase security at the two complexes.

"We have standard security patrol, a roving guard 24/7, and we supplement that guard during periods when thefts are more likely, such as around Christmas time and on the weekend," he said, adding that the company sent out notification emails to park employers requesting that they take measures to mitigate thefts.

Still, a thumbnail survey of office employees at Bishop Ranch 2 showed that half were unaware of recent events. One employee, Adrienne, said she did not know about the thefts but noticed that her company gets "a lot of notices" and that security has told them to lock their doors.

Jeannine Beede's office was not one of the victims, but said she had been informed to close the blinds on her parking lot-facing office.

"We have an alarm system, our doors are always locked. We are taking precautions," she said.

Those extra precautions have netted positive results, according to Mehran, as Bishop Ranch security officers apprehended a culprit on Monday night. Concord resident Thomas Daley, 33, was found on methamphetamines with a stolen iPhone, a window puncher and other gear used to break through a window. Although Mehran said he is "pretty sure" Daley is the culprit, San Ramon Police said the man did not have anything on him and was merely arrested for prowling.

"We have 30,000 people that come to Bishop Ranch every day and 6,000 customers, so we tend to be a very safe location and we think that this situation is solved," Mehran stated.

San Ramon Police said they are working with Bishop Ranch in an ongoing investigation that includes special details and burglary suppression. Lt. LaRoque said that there is a cyclical nature associated with such crimes and speculated that the spike in thefts is due to an individual or group coming through town.

To that end, San Ramon Police held a "To Catch a Thief" program where volunteers went to often-burgled areas and identified items in cars that were likely to be stolen. Volunteers issued more than 500 notices to people parked in the Market Place and Target shopping centers as well as 24-Hour Fitness and Bishop Ranch parking lots, citing GPS devices, computers and purses as prime targets for theft.

"I think San Ramon is a target rich environment and…I think the criminals know that," Sgt. Goldberg said.

Police encourage residents to lock their business and car doors and keep valuable items out of sight. Additionally, if you see a burglary in the making, do not intervene but write down a license plate number and call the police at 973-2700.


Like this comment
Posted by Lena
a resident of Danville
on Jan 30, 2012 at 6:52 am

I'm glad you wrote this article. We frequent the Whole Foods and Target by Bishop Ranch at night sometimes. Since Borders closed, there has been a noticeable reduction in customer traffic. This reduction has made it easier to notice suspicious people around the parking lot. I saw a couple sketchy people wandering the parking lot about 5 days ago when I had to use the Wella Fargo ATM at about 8 p.m. It doesn't feel as safe to use the ATM there at night and I hope there is increased security.

Like this comment
Posted by Mary
a resident of Greenbrook Elementary School
on Jan 30, 2012 at 11:13 am

I have notice an increase in burglaries in San Ramon and Danville. This fall several houses were broken in and computer, etc were stolen. It seem that the burglar are watching when you leave. I am happy that Danville Express is talking about this.

Like this comment
Posted by William
a resident of Danville
on Jan 31, 2012 at 6:40 am

The bad guys count on the citizens being complacent. I saw a "sketchy" individual walking between cars at Blackhawk Plaza looking into cars in broad daylight a few weeks ago and called the police. They arrived interviewed him, searched him, arrested him and took him away. Haven't seen him back since. If you see something that Just doesn't look right call the police and let them figure it out. When you don't call your part of the problem not part of the solution.

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Posted by American
a resident of Danville
on Jan 31, 2012 at 7:45 am

Well said, William, and good job! Have noticed a big increase in alleged "sales people" going door to door in danville, possibly casing out homes and seeing who is not home. Do not be afraid to call the police to check them out. I also think our town requires some type of permit to go door to door,etc. Mr. Gillette, town spokesperson, do you have any info on this?

Like this comment
Posted by frankly
a resident of San Ramon
on Feb 1, 2012 at 6:41 am



Good to see people beginning to get involved to protect themselves from any kind on illegal or abusive intrusion which crime people perpetrate due to not me attitude of involvement by good citizens but not wanting to bother yet till that cow gets out of the barn and is long gone!!!!

Again well done William.

I saw a weaving gas tanker on the moving north on I680 last week and called 911, reported it and hopefully CHP was able to catch up with it and make determinations.

The speed of the tanker and headed north told me that tanker was empty and that meant plenty of fumes(if present) which are what explode not the liquid which would ignite more then explode.

CHP agreed. The call went out.

So its people indicating strange happenings which help the community, not abusive intrusive meddling.

Save your community and town; call when believed necessary.

Like this comment
Posted by Sharon
a resident of Danville
on Feb 1, 2012 at 9:54 am

I've also noticed an increase in door-to-door solicitors. Most recently there was a guy who was selling home security/alarm systems who said they are working in conjunction with the police department due to an 18% increase in crime. I have no interest in an alarm system for my home, but I still wonder if he was telling the truth about being sanctioned by Danville PD.

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Posted by Tarkus
a resident of Danville
on Feb 1, 2012 at 7:45 pm

Yup, getting door to door magazine sales every other week now. "I used to be in pharmaceutical sales now trying to set my life straight... " I tell them that I heard the same pitch two days ago and not to bother the neighbors since they have heard it as well. Having a 92 pound dog staring at them helps as well

Like this comment
Posted by Tarkus
a resident of Danville
on Feb 1, 2012 at 7:45 pm

Yup, getting door to door magazine sales every other week now. "I used to be in pharmaceutical sales now trying to set my life straight... " I tell them that I heard the same pitch two days ago and not to bother the neighbors since they have heard it as well. Having a 92 pound dog staring at them helps as well

Like this comment
Posted by Sharon
a resident of Danville
on Feb 1, 2012 at 10:12 pm

The Danville Police Department does not sanction any home alarm companies. It was likely a phony sales pitch, but could also have been a potential burglar. In any case, a recession such as we are going through can turn economically marginal citizens into thieves.

Like this comment
Posted by Jane
a resident of Danville
on Feb 2, 2012 at 2:41 pm

I got some of my packages stolen right off my porch last month while I was at work. I live pretty close to San Ramon so I wouldn't be surprised this is related to the 'theft' cases. I informed USPS about it and filed a complaint to the police too. I hope they catch the perpetrators soon!

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