SAN JOSE, Calif. (KTVU) - Police in San Jose said on average, they deal with 600 home burglaries a month citywide but during the Christmas holiday, it is significantly up. Neighbors in the Cory neighborhood of West San Jose said there have been nine home break-ins in the last 12 days.
It is an up and coming family area in San Jose, next to Valley Fair Mall. Now long-time residents of the Cory neighborhood said they're experiencing something they've never dealt with before.
"People are really scared, said Bahia Fear of San Jose. “I even got a message through our Facebook page, people say they are scared to leave their homes.”
Neighbors shared pictures with us posted on Nextdoor of what homeowners finding rooms flipped inside out and their valuables taken during the day. They fear it may be a serial burglary crew.
"It's the same individuals that are doing it because everyone is saying a silver car like a Honda,” said Fear. “Everyone keeps mentioning the same vehicle.”
"It's a total surprise; this is not a crime ridden neighborhood,” said Gaye and Ken Shuey of San Jose. “This is new to us to think this way.”
According to San Jose Police, it's not just this neighborhood. Home break-ins are up throughout the city.
"600 cases a month in our city is a lot,” said Sgt. Enrique Garcia of San Jose Police.
Last week, burglars were caught on camera in Willow Glen not even hiding their faces. Police said, bottom line burglaries are up because proactivity is down.
“I don't want to sugarcoat it but the reality is we are short-staffed and we don't have the manpower to patrol the neighborhoods the way that we should,” said Sgt. Garcia.
Even more reason, police said for residents to protect themselves. Common mistakes include leaving the garage door opener in a car and leaving curtains open with presents under the tree visible.
Neighbors said they're now keeping their homes more secure with a message for the thieves.
"Find something better to do with your time,” said Fear. “People are trying to live their lives. Stay out of neighborhood. We don't need it and we are going to organize and make sure we find you.”
Besides putting up fliers, residents said they are also driving around Cory School and taking it upon themselves to patrol the area.