Massive increase in San Jose school burglaries since shelter-in-place; overall crime down

New data from San Jose Police reveals overall crime in the city is down since the shelter-in-place order was issued. Domestic violence crimes are slightly up and surprisingly, there’s a big spike in school burglaries. Chief Eddie Garcia said he’s pleased with the downward direction but knows when the order is lifted the numbers won't stay low.

Clyde Fischer Middle School in San Jose has been burglarized three times since distance learning began back on March 16. Thieves broke windows and rummaged through the front office. The principal said virtual reality sets and random computer equipment was taken and he's wondering why thieves are targeting his school and why now.

“Is it because they know schools are closed and vacant at this time meaning schools are more vulnerable,” said Dr. George Kleidon, principal of Clyde Fischer Middle School.

According to new data from San Jose Police, several schools have been burglarized between March 15 to April 11. School burglaries are up 550% from the same time period last year.

Overall crime has decreased 31 percent compared to a year ago. Violent crimes are down 25 percent and property crimes are down 32%.

“We are all concerned the longer this shelter in place goes on, the more we may see increases,” said Chief Eddie Garcia of San Jose Police. “For now, I’m very pleased and proud of the city of where are numbers are at.”

Chief Garcia attributes the decline to less criminal activity on the streets with people at home. He’s surprised the uptick in domestic violence cases isn’t larger but knows those crimes are often underreported.

“We have to ensure that our survivors, people being victimized at home know resources, and reach out for help if they need to,” said Chief Garcia.

“It’s not surprising that when isolation goes up so can abuse", said Tanis Crosby, CEO of Silicon Valley YWCA.

The YWCA Silicon Valley is hearing from women who have increased fear of abuse. The nonprofit is working with police to establish an outreach campaign.

“We have confidential advocates, our crisis support line is fully operational,” said Crosby. “We want to make sure everyone knows help is here.”

As for school burglaries, San Jose Police officers are patrolling schools more often and are more visible at school parking lots to curb those break-ins.