SMPD: Serial Burglar Was Caught Red-Handed

Police say the woman was caught while she was burglarizing a local home-- and then linked to several other nearby break-ins.

By Bay City News Service: 

Police interrupted a burglary in progress in San Mateo last week and ended up arresting a woman on suspicion of a number of neighborhood burglaries, police said.

 Residents of a home in the 2200 block of Armada Way called police to report a suspected intruder in their home after they heard their patio door break around 9:30 p.m. Thursday, police Lt. Ryan Monaghan said.

 When police arrived at the home, they found and arrested suspect Jennifer Chao, Monaghan said.

 Chao, 36, who police said is a transient, allegedly had property in her possession connected to a nearby burglary in the 800 block of Sextant Court earlier that day, Monaghan said.

 Further investigation, including a search of Chao's hotel room, allegedly linked her to two other burglaries -- one in the 1100 block of Shoal Drive and another in the 2200 block of Armada Way, Monaghan said.

 Officers canvassed the neighborhood and found that Chao would knock at the door to find unoccupied homes, according to Monaghan.

 Over the weekend, detectives located more property that Chao allegedly stole in East Bay pawn shops, Monaghan said.

 Chao was booked into San Mateo County Jail on suspicion of burglary, grand theft and possession of stolen property, Monaghan said.

 In order to avoid possible burglaries, San Mateo police advise residents to respond verbally to knocks on the door even if they don't answer and to lock all doors and windows when they leave the house.


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