Video: Rash of car break-ins in American Canyon

In American Canyon, police are publicizing surveillance video after more than 30 cars were hit by thieves over the weekend. 

The burglary spree happened in the early morning hours, 2-30 to 4-30 a.m., both Saturday and Sunday on opposite sides of town. 

"There were police going up and down, going to every house," said victim Perla Lopez, describing what she woke up to Sunday. "Broken glass, broken windows, and not just me but the neighbors as well." 

On a half-dozen streets on American Canyon's west side, 27 parked cars were ransacked for valuables. 

VIDEO: Rash of car break-ins

Many had windows shattered to gain access. Other vehicles had been left unlocked, so the thieves simply opened the doors, stole what they wanted, and left the rest strewn about. 

"Very disappointing," said Lopez, who was among those with a gaping car window. "There was nothing valuable in there to take, but now we have to pay for the repairs." 

American Canyon police have security video from one home, and are asking residents to review their overnight footage for more. 

"We see one man in a hoodie looking in the cars, he's looking for bags, or something he's targeted, and his friend is walking down the sidewalk," described Police Chief Oscar Ortiz, sharing the video with KTVU. 

In the video, flood lights come on, and the two suspects scurry away from the cars they are scoping out. 

"The lookout, we can see, is very thin and wears his pants down low, he looks like a white male or Hispanic male," said Chief Ortiz. 

Their car is also caught on camera briefly. 

"It's definitely a sedan, and it's a four door, looks like a light color," added the chief.   

Residents of the Rancho del Mar neighborhood are asked to check their security systems between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. The thieves took cash, wallets, sunglasses, any electronics they could find, and grabbed documents from glove boxes. 

"They're looking for addresses and names, and if they can get a date of birth or social security number after that, they're home free for identity theft," said Chief Ortiz.  

Victim Matthew Karr has a piece of yellow tarp over his shattered rear window. .

"They got in the glove box, center console, dug under the seats, dug through the pockets in the seats," said Karr.

Yet the only items taken from his car were old registration papers.   

"If they hit 30 cars in a night, they can't be sticking around too long to figure things out," said Karr, "and whatever they did, they did in a hurry."    

It's  possible the pair was active two nights in a row. 

The Vintage Ranch neighborhood a few miles away on the opposite side of Highway 29 also had 7 reports of auto burglaries during the wee hours of Saturday morning.  

"I hope they get this taken care of soon," observed resident Gerald Ervin, "because I know some people, if they find their car getting broken in to, it's not going to be nice." 

For now, one surveillance video is all investigators have to go on, with the hope more will come in.

And victims are saddled with insurance claims. 

"It's horrible, it's break-ins for no reason," said Perla Lopez, alongside her shattered car window. 
"I hope they do get caught, I really do."

Residents are warned not to leave items of value, containers or bags visible in their cars overnight.
In some instances, the suspects peered into cars but moved along, presumably because they saw nothing attractive inside.  

A home surveillance video suggests the damage was done four hours earlier. One suspect in the video appears to be wearing khaki pants and a white T-shirt, and the other was wearing a hoodie.

Police are looking to see more surveillance videos from residents in the neighborhood that were recorded between 1:30 and 4:30 a.m. Sunday. Anyone with video is asked to call American Canyon police at (707) 551-0600.