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Police Nab Thief After Resident Spots Suspicious Activity

The 27-year-old suspect was allegedly caught with property stolen from nearly a dozen vehicles parked near the San Mateo County Medical Center.

Police Nab Thief After Resident Spots Suspicious Activity

The San Mateo Police Department on Friday arrested a person suspected of stealing from numerous San Mateo residents after an alert community member reported suspicious activity.

At about 6 a.m., officers responded to the area of 36th Avenue and Michael Drive due to a report of a suspicious person rummaging through garbage cans, San Mateo Police Sgt. Dave Norris said.

There police found Clinton Skelley, a 27-year-old man from San Francisco who matched the description of the suspicious subject.

During the investigation, Skelley was allegedly found to be in possession of several suspicious items of property "clearly belonging to other people living in the area," Norris said.

The property was later determined to have been stolen from about 10 unlocked vehicles parked in the neighborhood surrounding San Mateo County Medical Center.

Skelley was also reportedly in possession of a “window punch,” a commonly used tool for vehicle burglars; drugs packaged for sale; and suspected drug sales proceeds, according to Norris.

Skelley was arrested and later booked into San Mateo County Jail on suspicion of theft and drug sales related charges.  


Window-smash vehicle burglaries and overnight thefts from unlocked vehicles parked in neighborhoods are an all too common occurrence throughout the Bay Area. Most thefts from vehicles are crimes of opportunity. There are measures YOU can take to reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim of this type of crime:

·        BE AWARE – Areas where many cars are parked in one place, like parking garages, crowded restaurants, shopping centers, and large retailers are target-rich environments for these bandits.

·        BE AWARE – Another target-rich opportunity is presented by our many residential areas, containing streets lined with parked cars all night.

·        CALL SMPD – We saturate these hotspots, but we cannot be everywhere at once. Call us about suspicious activity, and join a Neighborhood Watch to leverage your neighborhood resources and watch out for each other.

·        ALWAYS lock your vehicle. Even if you are only leaving it for a few minutes. Opportunist criminals are checking first for unlocked cars – this is the easiest and quietest way for them to access your car.

·        ALWAYS keep valuables out of sight. Criminals will be much less likely to break your vehicle window if there is nothing in plain view to steal. REMEMBER that these crooks will be watching as you park your cars, so stash your valuables out of sight BEFORE you park.   

IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING – This arrest was made possible through the efforts of YOU – our community!

If you see ANY in-progress crime or suspicious activity, please contact the police department immediately via 911. 

SMPD Dispatch Non-Emergency Number – 650-522-7700

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