City of San Carlos - Burglaries and Alarms


Burglaries and Alarms

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Q. How do I get an Alarm Permit Application Form?
An application form is available from the City Finance Department to download here or by calling (650) 802-4214, if you prefer to have one mailed to you. Please submit the completed form and payment to the City Finance Department for review and processing.

Q. Is there any correlation between having a garage sale and subsequent burglaries at the site? That is, should one avoid having a yard sale at one's residence in order to avoid a later break-in?
 Our opinion is that there is generally no connection between burglaries and garage sales in San Carlos. These crimes are usually random or there is a relationship between the suspect and the home owner (e.g. attended party at home, cleaning person, relative, acquaintance, etc.). To our knowledge, no burglaries in San Carlos in recent years have involved someone who previously attended a garage sale at the site.

Q. Should I install a burglar alarm in my home?
Having an alarm system installed is a matter of personal choice. Some people consider an alarm to be a deterrent to potential thieves. Others feel that the alarm gives them added security when they are home or away.

Alarm systems vary in cost, depending on what type of detection system is employed. Some components are readily available at home improvement centers for "do it yourself" installation.

Many licensed alarm companies are listed in the phone book. We recommend that alarm buyers get at least two bids for the work, ask for references, and make sure there is training provided to everyone who will use the alarm. False alarms deplete police resources. After one (1) false alarm in a fiscal year, you will be billed for the police response.

Q. Sometimes in my neighborhood, I see things that are out of place, or unusual or people who are "suspicious". I don't really feel comfortable with calling the Police. Can you tell me about the procedure?
At any given time, there are officers on the street. The San Carlos Police Bureau counts on the twenty-seven thousand sets of eyes from our citizens to alert us to unusual situations. Any time someone calls, a dispatcher will take the information, ask questions, decide on what/whom to send, and the urgency of the call. We will respond to every call for service, though obviously the less urgent calls may take some time to respond to. All calls to the San Carlos Police Bureau are confidential. Remember, if you have an emergency, use 911.


Q. What is the cost of having a burglar alarm in San Carlos?
There is an annual fee of $32.00 for any business or residence with a monitored alarm system. This fee helps us offset costs for maintaining records of the contact persons listed on the alarm permit and other administrative tasks.

Most alarms are received from alarm companies who operate receiving equipment at their central station and notify us that their customer's alarm has been activated.

Q. Why do two (2) law enforcement officers respond to alarm calls?
All alarm calls are considered to be real. The possibility of one or more persons committing a burglary is a high risk call and requires two or more law enforcement officers to secure the premises and safeguard occupants, if any. The deputies may request additional help if the circumstances or location warrant it.