The malls on Black Friday are not only loaded with shoppers, but with criminals waiting for the right moment to strike.
Milpitas police reported Monday that two suspects were arrested last Friday morning after one was spotted allegedly attempting to break into a car in the parking lot of Great Mall.
According to police, a department bicycle officer patrolling the mall parking lot spotted the suspects, identified as 21-year-old Rafael Junior Clemente, and 30-year-old Angel Garcia Aguilar, Jr., both of San Jose. The bicycle officer is part of the MPD’s increased holiday enforcement to prevent such burglaries and thefts from occurring while shoppers are inside the malls.
Officials say the officer noticed Clemente peering into car windows, then allegedly attempting to open a vehicle by tampering with the lock. The officer stopped Clemente, who was in possession of a burglary tool, and walked him back to his own vehicle, where Aguilar, Jr. was sitting in the passenger seat, according to police. Aguilar, a parolee, was also reportedly in possession of burglary tools.
Further investigation revealed that the pair had teamed up to burglarize at least three parked cars at Great Mall.
Clemente was arrested and booked into Santa Clara County Jail on charges of attempted burglary, conspiracy, possession of burglary tools, and tampering with a vehicle. Aguilar, Jr. was booked into Santa Clara County Jail on charges of attempted burglary, conspiracy, possession of burglary tools, and a parole violation.
Holiday shoppers are encouraged to be extra vigilant while shopping, as burglars and thieves are often on the prowl waiting for their next innocent victim. People are encouraged not to leave valuables inside their vehicles and women should keep their handbags within view or on their person at all times.
Anyone with information on Friday’s incident is asked to call Milpitas police at (408) 586-2400. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call (408) 586-2500 or visit the department’s website.