Sacramento police investigators are looking at surveillance video in hopes of determining who broke into an estimated 15 cars early Sunday morning in the new Mill on Broadway community near downtown, as well as a nearby burglary at the Muir Way Market.
Police say perpetrators smashed car windows on two streets in the development in the Upper Land Park area between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. The market break-in, a few blocks away, came at 5 a.m., police said.
In social media posts on Facebook and Nextdoor, residents of the area said blood was found in some of the cars. Police acknowledged they are reviewing evidence found in some cars, but declined to say what that evidence is.
“Fifteen cars in one place, that raises the level of concern for us,” police spokesman Eddie Macaulay said. “We don’t (typically) have a large number of cars broken into at once.”
The break-ins occurred on Lug Lane and Cleat Lane, just off of 5th Street, south of Broadway.
Sacramento City Councilman Steve Hansen said police have told him “smash and grab” car break-ins have increased in numerous neighborhoods around the city. He said police are deploying more resources to combat the crimes. He also has asked police to increase patrols along the Broadway corridor in his council district as a result of the Sunday morning break-ins at the Mill.
“These are quick crimes and perpetrators get away fast,” Hansen said. “We are trying to figure out who is behind these smash and grabs, deploy more resources and educate car owners not to leave things visible in their cars, and to report break-ins. A lot of time, people still aren’t reporting these incidents.”
Residents of the Mill at Broadway community have talked recently, according to one online post, about hiring private security due to concerns about homeless people coming through the area and rummaging through garbage.
The Mill at Broadway is a planned development that eventually will have 1,000 residences on an old lumber mill site south of Broadway. The development has 140 completed units. City officials have lauded the Mill as the type of major infill needed to help revitalize the west end of Broadway, as well as the urban core.
Mill project developer Kevin Smith called the break-ins “a one-off for us,” saying the area has not experienced any unusual crime activity before. There has been typical construction-related vandalism at the project side, he said.
Smith said sales representatives make a point of telling potential buyers that they are moving into an urban area. Each housing unit comes with a mounted surveillance camera for the buyer to use.
Those cameras are usually set up to observe the residence’s front door, Smith said. The development does not have cameras trained on the street. Mill officials are providing model home video to police.