“The professional burglars have a common way of getting into the cars — they use the sparkplug chips,” Glendale Police Sgt. Vahak Mardikian said.
Thieves shatter the sparkplugs and use the small porcelain pieces to break car windows, he said.
Thieves throw the pieces against the windows because they make no noise.
“The common denominator in these 15 or 16 burglaries we found is sparkplug chips in most of these cars that were broken into,” Mardikian said.
“So we are still investigating it.”
The burglaries were likely committed by one group, he said, but no arrests have been made.
Police were conducting additional patrols at night and in the early morning in the targeted neighborhoods, he added.
Pacific Avenue resident Randy Rosen said his girlfriend’s car was targeted by thieves.
Her car window was smashed, but nothing appeared to be stolen, he said.
The burglary attempt was the first he had seen in the neighborhood, although other vandalism incidents have occurred, Rosen said.
“I think any time you are a victim of vandalism, you are not going to be happy about it,” he said.
Northwest Glendale Homeowners Assn. members notified Glendale police about the burglaries to decide what their next move should be, said the association’s president, Peter Fuad.
Burglaries and other crimes in the area have occurred in waves every couple of years, Fuad said.
Despite repeated warnings from the Police Department, some residents in the neighborhood continue to leave valuables in plain view in their cars, Mardikian said.
Arshad Sample’s car was burglarized on Graynold Avenue, and several other items, including his iPhone, were stolen, he said.
“It was the middle of the night, the windows were broken, and they took the electronics that were inside the car,” he said.
Most residents in his neighborhood park on the street, he said.
Sample estimated the loss of his phone and damage to his car at $1,000.
“Everyone else in the neighborhood is freaking out,” Sample said.
Despite the rash of burglaries, he said no one was injured.
Economic uncertainty may be prompting some people to resort to extreme measures for a quick buck, Sample said.
“It’s just desperate people,” he said.
Get in touch VERONICA ROCHA covers public safety and the courts. She may be reached at (818) 637-3232 or by e-mail at veronica.rocha@ latimes.com.