Security & Safety   Last updated: 04/28/2012

 

Criminal Ring in Austin   (Date Posted: 10/03/12)

The following message concerning imaginitive burglary schemes was posted on a neighborhood association's Google Group recently.

We are living in crazy times. I got the following from Gracy Woods Neighborhood Association. Please take notice and pass along.

FYI - The Constables have informed me that we now have a criminal ring in Austin that drives up to houses with a trailer and landscape equipment. They are unloading the mower, turning it on, and then using the noise and the landscaping equipment to mask that they are breaking into houses.

We also had a criminal recently arrested who had outfitted his truck to make it look like he was a painter. He was doing home break-ins and I understand he may have been involved in a possible rape (I haven't been able to confirm this later part).

Please get out the word to your neighborhoods and list serves. We need everybody to be extra vigilant. Please do not just assume a contractor or a landscaper has a reason to be there.

 

Attempted Burglary - Beware of Compass Couriers / Black 2-door hatchback?   (Date Posted: 04/28/12)

The following message concerning an Attempted Burglary incident that occurred in the Mountain Neighborhood was posted on our association's Yahoo Group and repeated here.

From: theenclavehoa@yahoogroups.com on behalf of Timothy Newman
Sent: Sat 4/28/12 9:59 AM
To: theenclavehoa@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [TheEnclaveHOA] FW: [mountain] Attempted Burglary - Beware of Compass Couriers / Black 2-door hatchback?

Enclave Homeowners,

The appended message thread about an Attempted Burglary came from The Mountain Neighborhood Google Group. Mr. Eric Deal is the President of The Mountain Neighborhood HOA.

A description of the suspicious individual and the car he was driving is included in pretty good detail. You should be on the lookout for the car, and if you spot it, don't hesitate to call 911 and report it to the police operator. A car matching the description of the one in this incident was spotted on Evening Primrose as recently as yesterday (04/26/12) afternoon.

Also, those of you who are in the habit of leaving your overhead garage door open, should begin closing it as a precaution. (There is no sense in making it easy for someone to burglarize your home.)

Thank you.

Tim Newman

------------- Original Message -----------------------

From: Eric Deal [mna@dealfamily.net]
Date: April 24, 2012 9:52:00 PM CDT
To: members [members@mna.dealfamily.net], Mountain Neighborhood Austin [Mountain-Neighborhood-austin@googlegroups.com]
Cc: Joe Hebbe [joe.hebbe@austintexas.gov], Connie Perdue [clperdue@swbell.net]
Subject: [mountain] Attempted Burglary - Beware of Compass Couriers / Black 2-door hatchback
Reply-To: ericdeal@gmail.com

The individual returned to the same house today, leaving the same card, etc, at about 12:30 to 1:00 this afternoon.

Description of Suspect:

5'11"
175 pounds
Full head of black wavy/curly hair
Hispanic/ no accent
Dressed in all black

He apparently messed with the lock in attempt to open the door and failed. A neighbor got the license plate BN5-6445 (which turns out to be stolen) and the incident was reported to 911. The car is believed to be a black, older (late 1990's), 2-door, black hatchback.

Please call 911 if you spot the vehicle or to report other incidents such as this.

Eric Deal
MNA President

On Tue, Apr 24, 2012 at 2:24 PM, Eric Deal [mna@dealfamily.net] wrote:

Last week, one of our residents had a suspicious encounter at their house that we wanted to share with the neighborhood. It appears that this individual was in his early to mid 20's and may have been casing the house for a burglary attempt.

Around mid-day, the resident walked out the front door to find an older-model, black, 2-door hatchback backed into their driveway. When he approached the individual, he was handed a card (scan attached) and told that they were attempting delivery of a package for Compass Courier. The name and address on the card was correct, so some planning was involved. The individual did not have the package, even though the note indicated a first attempt, and quickly departed. Calling the phone number on the card results in a generic message, and several similar complaints have been found online.

The event has been reported to Joe Hebbe, our District Police Representative, who confirmed that this was likely someone casing the house for a burglary. Please be aware of suspicious activity such as this. If anyone is aware of similar circumstances, please try to note the make/model and license plate of the vehicle and contact the police via 911. If anyone has had a similar experience, please contact our District Representative, Officer Joe Hebbe at 974-4289 or joe.hebbe@austintexas.gov.

Eric Deal
MNA President

 

DISTURBING INCIDENT Involving Teenage Boys   (Date Posted: 01/31/11)

*Please read the following message about a Doorbell-Ringing Harassment Incident of a Homeowner in The Enclave neighborhood by a Teenage Boy.*

------------- Original Message -----------------------

Sent: Mon 1/31/11 1:43 PM
Subject: [TheEnclaveHOA] Important Safety Issue: Weird Incident involving teenage boys, Saturday 01/29/2011
From: TheEnclaveHOA@yahoogroups.com on behalf of Darshana Gore
To: Tim Newman The Enclave HOA President (newman_timothy@msn.com); TheEnclaveHOA YahooGroup (theenclavehoa@yahoogroups.com)

Location: 9401 Bing Cherry Ln
Date: 01/29/2011 Saturday around 8:00pm

Just before 8:00pm our door bell rang. My husband tried to see from the side window that who is there as we were not expecting anyone at that time.
He could just see someone's shoes as the person was trying to stand way on the other side of the window so we can [not] see who it is.
My Husband opened the door. It was a teenage boy about 5 ft 8 inches tall, curly hair. My Husband asked him reason to come. The boy answered him back asking "Who are you and why are you in my house?" Feeling suspicious my husband closed the door and the boy still kept knocking on the door. I asked my husband if we should call 9-1-1.

Meanwhile I tried to look out of the other window to see what was going on. There were two other kids similar age at the neighbor's house across the street. As the neighbor's dog started to bark while they opened the door the kids ran away. They ran on the Evening Primrose Street turning left from my house that is towards the mailbox.

We couldn't understand the intention of the kids to do such a thing. Either they were playing prank on us or were high on Drugs. They must be around 14-15 years of age. The boy who was at our door was black and the other kids were white, one tall and one short.

We would like to ask others in neighborhood, if they had this kind of experience before. This is the first time we have experience this kind of incidence since we moved in here about 4 and a half years ago.

This is a safety issue, not just for us and our kids, but also for these kids.

Thanks,
Darshana Gore

 

IMPORTANT SAFETY ISSUE:   Drivers Failing to Stop at Intersections with Stop Signs.   (Date Posted: 01/31/11)

*Please read the following message from a homeowner in the Mountain Neighborhood who rides his bicycle through our neighborhood on his way to work. This message was previously posted to TheEnclaveHOA Yahoo Group.*

------------- Original Message -----------------------

Sent: Sat 1/08/11 7:35 PM
From: theenclavehoa@yahoogroups.com on behalf of Timothy Newman(newman_timothy@msn.com)
To: theenclavehoa@yahoogroups.com
Subject:[TheEnclaveHOA] Important Safety Issue: Drivers Failing to Stop at Intersections with Stop Signs

Residents of The Enclave:

I received the following email message from Mr. Bertold Kolics, who lives on Callanish Park Drive in an adjoining subdivision. In it, he expresses his concern about a serious safety issue with the way some of the drivers on the streets in our neighborhood ignore Stop Signs at intersections in our subdivision.

I want to urge all of you to please, PLEASE use caution when approaching an intersection (especially those having stop signs) and be sure to come to a complete stop, and only proceed after looking both ways to be sure no vehicles, bicycles, or pedestrians are in the path of your vehicle. I have also observed "rolling stops" at intersections with stop signs in our neighborhood.

Be warned: This week I observed a police cruiser parked near the intersection mentioned in Mr. Kolics' message, presumably watching for drivers who failed to stop. The few seconds that might be saved by rolling through the stop sign isn't worth a traffic ticket, or worse yet, causing a personal injury to someone.

Also, realize that poor driving habits endanger the children living in our neighborhood.

Tim Newman
President, The Enclave HOA

------------- Original Message Follows ---------------

Sent: Thu 12/16/10 10:06 AM
From: Bertold Kolics (bertold@kolics.net)
To: Timothy Newman (newman_timothy@msn.com)

I would appreciate if you could share the following message with the residents of the neighborhood.

Thank you,
Bertold Kolics

Dear Residents,

I often commute to work using my bicycle from the Mountain Neighborhood through The Enclave and found myself in dangerous traffic situations twice over the course of the past few weeks. Both cases occurred at the same intersection in the morning hours (between 8 and 9 AM) in broad daylight. Cars turning right from Limoncillo Drive to Topridge Drive failed to stop completely at the stop sign and look both directions before proceeding. Drivers were shocked to find my bicycle in front of them as they were turning. Probably only one foot was between the rear wheel of the bike and the front of the car. When I ride my bike, I always wear a bright neon-green jacket and have a blinking front light even during daylight hours. There is nothing else I can do to make myself more visible and my speed could not have been a factor, since I was going uphill on Topridge Drive when these incidents happened. I also think that bike riders should be expected on Topridge Drive given that dedicated bicycle lanes go from the Scotland Well Drive intersection all the way to Spicewood Parkway.

Drivers not stopping at this intersection may very well be not residents of the Enclave. I am not accusing anyone, I did not take down license plate numbers or filed a police report. Considering that I have not encountered any dangerous situations crossing Anderson Mill Road or riding next to West Wood High School during rush hour, I believe it is worth raising awareness about the dangers present at this intersection.

With regards,
Bertold Kolics / bertold@kolics.net
10700 Callanish Park Dr

 

CRIME ALERT!   Report of an Attempted Burglary from The Mountain Neighborhood   (Date Posted: 06/10/10)

*Please see the following email message about a home burglary that was reported by a homeowner living in The Mountain Neighborhood.*

Date: Wed, 9 Jun 2010 21:41:02 -0500
Subject: [mountain] Thieves around the mountain neighborhood
From: [Undisclosed Neighbor in the MNA]
To: Mountain-Neighborhood-austin@googlegroups.com

I saw this and thought I will pass it on, since these guys are scouting the neighborhood in the night.

Today morning at around 1:40AM (on Evening Primrose - The Enclave), I heard some noises through the window and looked out. There was a Red truck parked outside - lights off. Then I saw one male getting off the truck and going to my neighbor's house and fumbling/scanning through the front door. Then he went to the window by the front room and that is when I called my neighbor. On hearing the phone ring, he ran away to the waiting getaway truck and sped off.

Subsequently we called and the cop came and left the scene. Lo and behold two minutes after that the RED truck sped past the same place. So he had gone around Primrose, into Top Ridge and onto Scotland well and then turned into one of the streets and came via Callanish Park back into Evening Primrose to recheck. The cop had missed him by two minute, coz by the time the cop came and left.

Feel free to pass it on to neighbors - being vigilant these group of people can be tracked.

They are a group of 3/4 people who operate in a truck.

Thanks,

Girish.

--
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Mountain Neighborhood Austin" group.

 

CRIME ALERT!   Home Burglary on Topridge Drive (in Spicewood Estates)   (Date Posted: 05/08/10)

*Please see the following about a home burglary in Spicewood Estates and a Travis County Citizen Alert:*

Our house at 9401 Topridge was burglarized at 3:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 4.

The house is vacant but is staged for sale. A screen door to an enclosed patio was forced and a window in a house door was broken near the doorknob, but because the interior door lock is keyed no entrance was made. A screen from a small bathroom window was then removed. A seat cushion taken from one of the patio chairs was held against the window and struck so that a circular break in the window was made.

The burglar then raised the window and entered the house. A neighbor awakened by her barking dog looked out the window to see a U-haul trailer parked where she hadn't remembered seeing one when she went to bed. She noticed a man wearing a black ski mask and black clothes and called 911. When she turned on her porch light and stepped outside, the man noticed her, ran to his vehicle and sped away. He was not caught. The only items found missing were a queen size mattress and box springs. It was later determined that the man had unscrewed the light bulbs of the lights over the driveway.

Matt Baker

Travis County Sheriff Citizen Alert -- Vacant Home Burglaries

Residential Burglaries- Appliances Targeted

Recently there has been an upswing in appliance thefts in North and East Travis County.

Some cases involve new homes under construction in the newer subdivisions but more recently in established subdivisions where foreclosed homes are being targeted. In these cases, the residences are being accessed by persons having a key to the residences.

HUD and foreclosed homes are typically sold with the appliances inside, typically a dish washer and stove. The persons targeting these homes appear to be doing this during the daytime and utilizing a large rental truck to place the appliance inside.

If you witness appliances being removed "from" a home under construction or a foreclosed home please report this activity to your local police department. Be a good but safe witness and don't attempt to intercede. A description and license plate are invaluable!

You may contact Detective Ames at 512-854-7407 with any leads or questions.

 

CRIME ALERT!   Break-In Incident in our neighborhood.   (Date Posted: 10/30/2009)

An Enclave residence on Topridge Drive was burlarized on Nov. 30 between the hours of 9:00 am and 11:15 am while the homeowner was out. The front door of the house was kicked-in, and several easy to carry items were taken. The homeowner did not arm the alarm system when leaving. The break-in was discovered by a friend when she stopped by to leave an item with the homeowner, and found the front door ajar, and observed splintered wood and sheetrock debris on the floor of the entry.

After being alerted by the friend, the homeowner reported the break-in to the Austin Police Department. The police officer who investigated told the homeowner that they frequently see doors and framing come apart as this one did when force is applied to them.

We all tend to assume that locked doors are safe, and will protect us from incidents like this one. But, our entry doors are probably not as strong as we all might assume that they are.

Here are some measures that we all can take to help make ourselves safer.

  • Have good locks on all exterior doors and windows and use them.
  • Keep the overhead garage door down when you are not entering or exiting the garage.
  • Arm your alarm system when you leave your house, even if you only expect to be away for a short time.
  • Lock the door between your house and garage when you leave.
  • Turn the bell or ringer on your telephone(s) down low. If a burgler is around, he/she won't be alerted to your absence by a ringing telephone.
  • If you have call forwarding, forward your home telephone to your cell phone, especially if you are going to be away for several days.
  • Consider hiring a handyman to strengthen your entry door jams by installing 3-inch long screws securing your latch and deadbolt strike plates.

 

CRIME ALERT!   Vehicle Burglary Incident in our neighborhood.   (Date Posted: 09/09/2009)

The following email message was sent by one of our Enclave homeowners about burglaries of their vehicles recently.

From: (undisclosed Enclave homeowner)
To: newman_timothy@msn.com
Sent: Wed 9/09/09 10:51 AM
Subject: Vehicles Burglarized

Hello Tim,

I live in Peony Cove and wanted to warn our neighbors about an incident that occurred last night. Our cars were burglarized. One was in the driveway and another at the curb in front of our house. Our outside lights were on.

Both cars' driver's side doors were opened somehow and the dome lights were turned on and all glove boxes and console storage areas opened and ransacked. We can only tell that CDs were stolen and maybe some small change. My Honda Odyssey had this happen earlier in the summer as well, when it was left in our driveway. I reported last night's incident to police.

I'm not sure how to list this warning on the HOA site, but would like to warn our neighborhood that someone knows how to gain entry into cars and is active in our area.

 

Here’s a link to a Travis County Sheriff brochure that offers many helpful tips for home safety when homeowners are away on vacation. It is a PDF file, so it can be printed and/or downloaded as desired.   (Date Posted: 10/31/2008)

http://www.tcsheriff.org/Vacation%20Tips.pdf

 

Disturbing attempted child abduction incident was passed along by our friends in Spicewood Estates.     (Date Posted: 02/25/2009)

From: Connie Perdue
Sent: Friday, February 20, 2009 10:25 AM
Subject: Incident last week

Dear Neighbors,

Please see the email below regarding an individual that approached two small children in their front yard in a nearby neighborhood. Linked is picture of the vehicle that the individual was driving. From the picture, the license plate appears to be 42X-5M6. Please call 911 if you see this vehicle. If you have children, you may also want to visit the APD website and view the Stranger Danger Video: http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/police/default.htm.

When I looked at the APD incident reports for the 78750 zip code from 02/12/09 through 02/18/09, there still are other types of crimes occurring in our immediate area. Here is a sampling of the reports:

Feb. 12 - Recovered a stolen vehicle from out of county/state on Balcones Club Dr.
Feb. 13 - Theft of license plate - Balcones Club Dr.
Feb. 15 - Criminal Mischief - Brandywine Cir.
Feb. 15 - Burglary of Vehicle - Pickfair Dr.
Feb. 15 - Criminal Mischief - Balcones Club Dr.
Feb. 16 - Criminal Mischief - Spicewood Club Dr.

In the 78759 zip code for the same time period, here are some reports:

Feb. 12 - Burglary of Vehicle - Great Hills Trail
Feb. 12 - Burglary of Vehicle - 9700 Stonelake Blvd - Gateway Theater (Note - there was also Burglary of Vehicle for multiple cars at 9700 Stonelake on Feb. 13 and on Feb. 15 and Feb. 16)
Feb. 15 - Burglary of Vehicle - Great Hills Trail Feb. 15 - Criminal Mischief - Oak View Dr. Feb. 16 - Criminal Mischief - D K Ranch Rd. Feb. 16 - Criminal Mischief - Cedar Cliff Dr.

Sincerely,

Connie Perdue
http://www.spicewoodestates.com/

----- Original Message -----

To: Connie Perdue
Sent: Thursday, February 19, 2009 8:12 AM
Subject: Incident last week

Late last week, an individual approached our two small children who were playing in our front yard. We were in our house, with the front door open, but going in and out of the house. He spoke to our oldest saying "Hi Sweetie, get your brother." We are fortunate that an attentive neighbor saw the whole of the contact with our children. Our neighbor followed him through the neighborhood and took a picture of the vehicle and license plate number (click here to view image). At some point the driver of the vehicle knew he was being followed, pulled into a driveway and pulled out again, traveling in the opposite direction. After looking through public records, we know the owner of the vehicle has a substantial criminal history, but does not have a history of sexual offenses.

We have contacted the police and have been assigned a case number (APD Case# 090471379). The vehicle is a White 2003 Chevy Avalanche At the time of the contact, the truck had a spare tire on the front passenger side (no hub cap). The officer who interviewed myself, my child, and my neighbor advised us to call 911 and reference the case number (APD Case# 090471379) if we saw the vehicle in the neighborhood again. We would appreciate it if our neighbors would do the same.

 

The following KXAN News item was passed along by our friends in Spicewood Estates

Police: Man tried to rape jogger   (Date Posted: 02/10/2009)
Woman fought off attacker in broad daylight

Created on: Monday, 02 Feb 2009, 12:28 PM CST

o   Shane Allen
AUSTIN (KXAN) - A Round Rock man is sitting in the Travis County Jail on on bonds totaling $100,000 after Austin police said he tried to kidnap and sexually assault a woman in Austin. According to documents made public Monday, Arnold Jenssen, 18, tried to kidnap a woman last Wednesday in broad daylight who was jogging on Spicewood Club Drive.

Police said Jenssen tackled the woman and tried to pull her into his vehicle. When the woman screamed and kicked Jenssen, police said he let go of her and drove away in his rusty colored SUV. Police were able to locate and detain Jenssen after the woman called 911 with his vehicle description.

When police spoke with Jenssen, the affidavit says he told them he intended to take [the woman] to another location where he would have raped her.

On top of the attempted kidnapping and sexual assault charges, Jenssen is also being held on unrelated traffic warrants and an assault of a family member charge.

 

Recent Home Break-In Incident   (Date Posted: 10/03/2008)

----- Original Message -----

From: [Annonymous]
Sent: Thu, 2 Oct 2008 22:43:15
Subject: Home Break-In

Description of Burglars -- 2 white males possibly 30s age group driving a white SUV.

This morning a friend on Henge Dr came home mid morning to find burglars in her house. She pulled in the driveway, and as the garage door was going up, two guys were trying to hold it down from the inside. It scared her so badly, that she backed out of the driveway. The guys jumped in the car, sped out of the garage, across the yard to get away. They broke in through the front door with a crow bar, raised the garage door and backed their car in. They took credit cards, computers, printers, other electronics and jewelry. Henge Dr. parallels and lies one street west of Barrington Way south of D K Ranch Road. Very close to our area. Refer to map.

It might be a good idea for all of us to have the credit card fraud number programmed in our cell phones to quickly call when we realize credit cards have been stolen, especially if you might be traveling.

The police told us that the guys are ringing the doorbell or knocking at the front door to see if anyone comes to the door. They are probably checking the houses across the street as well. If someone comes to the door, they pretend to be selling something or have the wrong house.

 

The following message is from the Austin Police Department, Northwest District Command.

HOME BURGLARIES   (Date Posted: 06/04/2008)

----- Original Message -----

From: Menchaca, Michelle
Sent: Tue Jun 3, 2008 2:58 pm
Subject: Home Burglaries

There have been daytime home burglaries in the Balcones Woods and Anderson Lane (west of Mopac) area neighborhoods. We would like to remind everyone to report any suspicious activity or persons. If you receive door-to-door salespeople, especially for home security equipment, they have to have state required ID to sell their systems. Never let unknown people in your home or give out personal information.

Remember to be safe and take care.

Michelle Menchaca
Admin Assistant/NW DRs
Austin Police Department
Ph: 512-974-5589

 

From our friends in The Mountain Neighborhood:

MORE ON COYOTES   (Date Posted: 06/04/2008)

From: calron1@att.net (Marilyn Calhoun)
To: mountain-neighborhood-austin@googlegroups.com
Date: Tue, 3 Jun 2008 15:31:36
Subject: [MNA] More on Coyotes

Randy Farrar, Wildlife Specialist with the Texas Wildlife Services under contract with Travis County to address coyote issues, met with folks from surrounding neighborhoods on May 12. He repeated several points you have already heard but which I will list again plus a few new ones.

TO REDUCE THE CHANCE OF HUMAN-COYOTE CONFLICTS
* Do not feed coyotes!
* Eliminate outside sources of water and food.
* Secure garbage and eliminate garbage odors.
* Feed pets indoors.
* Keep pets confined--especially at night. Walk dogs on a leash and accompany pets outside.
* Fencing your yard can deter coyotes. Fence should be 6 feet high and, for best results, extend 6 inches below ground. Also, the lateral boards should be on the house side of the fence.

IF YOU SEE A COYOTE
* Chase them away by shouting, making loud noises or throwing rocks.
* Call 311 and report the sighting. Call 911 if the coyote attacks a human.
* Email Marilyn Calhoun at calron1@att.net as a back-up report.

POINTS OF INTEREST
* Coyotes are one of the most adaptable animals around. They are not necessarily coming into an area because of outlying development but are actually coming in because human habitats are a good source for water and food. Some long settled developments in our area are seeing coyotes for the first time. Randy said recent coyote incursions into Northwest Austin may be from the increased deer population in the Balcones Canyonlands.

* The Coyote Project takes the 311 calls to assess frequency of sightings and level of risk to humans. They use a 1-7 scale of increasing threats to humans beginning with an increased number of sightings in streets and yards; next coyotes reportedly approaching adults or taking pets at night; not avoiding people during the day; attacking pets on a leash, chasing joggers, bicyclists, other adults; seeing coyotes around play areas; to actual attacks. (Sorry I can't be more precise but I was writing as fast as I could.)

* The trigger point for removal of coyotes is between 3 and 4 on the scale. Our neighborhood was in that position for a short time last fall but sighting reports stopped so there was no intervention. Such an intervention involves trapping, particularly, the alpha coyotes and euthanizing them. The more timid coyotes in the pack will then find less hostile habitat.

* COYOTES HAVE BEEN KNOW TO ATTACK HUMANS -- primarily children -- but there have been no reported attacks in Travis County. Last month, 3 attacks on children were reported in Southern California, which is especially subject to these problems. This is not to scare you to death but to point out coyotes are wild animals and can be dangerous. The most recent report of a coyote attack in Texas was 4 years ago in Bee County.

*FERAL HOGS have also been reported in our area and are becoming a problem as well. One man at the meeting said his yard had been decimated by them. Report those sightings the same as coyote sightings.

Hope this is of interest and helps.

Marilyn Calhoun

 

Vehicle Burglaries and Vandalism in our Area   (Date Posted: 12/19/2007)

A rash of vehicle burglaries and vandalism occurred in our area recently. Known incidents occurred in The Enclave at 3 residences on Evening Primrose Path, and incidents have been reported in The Mountain, Spicewood Estates, and a number of nearby neighborhoods in Northwest Austin.

The Austin Police Department (APD) has issued public warnings about these crimes (refer to two notices in Security and Safety), and have asked the public to be watchful and to report any suspicious activity observed.

The crimes usually occur late at night and early morning. Burglary of vehicles involves vehicles parked outside (either on driveways or in the street) or vehicles parked in a garage with the garage door left up. Items stolen from victim's vehicles include nearly anything of value, including cameras, cell phones, iPods, CDs, checkbooks, purses, computers, and personal documents. Unlocked vehicles (even those parked in open garages) are easy targets for theves. But theves also smash windows to gain access to locked vehicles.

Do not leave valuable items inside your vehicle and assume they will be safe. Always take valuables with you when you exit the vehicle. Parking your vehicle in a locked garage (with the garage door down) is probably the best deterent.

Over 400 cases of vandalism to vehicles (usually SUV-type vehicles) that are parked in a driveway or in the street in front of the owner's home have been reported. A rear window of the vehicle is shattered using what police believe is a BB or pellet gun. In most cases nothing was stolen from vehicles damaged in these incidents. But the the cost to repair the damage and the inconvenience associated with having the vehicle repaired is significant.

It is not known whether the same perpetrators are responsible for both types of crimes.

 

Press Release from Austin Police Department (release date: 12/18/2007).  The information below comes from an Austin Police Department (APD) Press Release.

APD DETECTIVES SEEK PUBLIC'S ASSISTANCE IN VEHICLE VANDALISM CASES

Austin Police Department Northwest and Southwest detectives are seeking the public's assistance to help identify suspects responsible for criminal mischief offenses that have occurred since August 2007 in the northwest and southwest parts of the city.

The suspects have been targeting mostly SUV-type vehicles, shattering the rear windows with what detectives believe to be a BB or pellet gun. In most cases, nothing has been stolen.

To date, there have been more than 400 reported cases in northwest and southwest Austin with the incidents occurring between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. The damaged vehicles were parked either in a driveway or on the street in front of the owner's home.

The Austin Police Department asks residents to call 911 on any suspicious persons or vehicles during these times of the night.

Individuals with specific information about this incident or the suspect are asked to call Detective M. Gutierrez at 974-5954 for Northwest, Detective M. Feinartz at 974-8252 or Detective B. Buck at 974-4748 for Southwest or CrimeStoppers at 472-8477. CrimeStoppers will pay up to $1,000 for information. These cases remain under investigation by APD Northwest and Southwest detectives.

 

Press Release from Austin Police Department (release date: 08/31/2007).  The information below comes from an Austin Police Department (APD) Press Release.

NORTHWEST COMMAND ALERTS PUBLIC ABOUT VEHICLE BURGLARIES

    The Austin Police Department Northwest Area Command District Representative Unit is urging the public to take steps to avoid becoming a victim of vehicle burglaries.

    From January 1st to June 26th, there were 857 vehicle burglaries reported to police in the Northwest Area Command. In 2006, during there same time period there were 793 incidents reported by the public to APD. Citywide there have been 7,358 vehicle burglaries in 2007 compared to 6,970 incidents in 2006.

    The burglaries are occurring in neighborhoods, business parking lots and apartment complexes. Unlocked vehicles along with breaking windows are ways in which suspects are gaining entry into the vehicles. Northwest officers are reminding residents to avoid leaving valuable items in their vehicles and to be aware of their surroundings.

    Residents are encouraged to:

  • Always lock your vehicle when unattended. Vehicles should be secured even when parked in front of a residence.
  • Avoid leaving valuables or items that cannot be replaced in your vehicle. Cameras, cell phones and computers can be replaced; however, information such as photographs, phone numbers and other personal information stored or saved in these items may not be easily recovered.
  • Avoid leaving financial information or other personal documents, and items such as money, credit cards, bank statements, checks, deposit/withdrawal slips, identification tags, parking hang tags and mail in your vehicle.
  • Avoid leaving valuable items in your car when parked at a hotel or park.
  • Hide items in the vehicle if you are unable to take the property with you.

    If your vehicle is burglarized call 3-1-1 to report the incident to police. To report a burglary in progress call 9-1-1.

 

From our friends in Spicewood Estates:

Vehicle Burglary and Solicitation Incident on Topridge Drive

----- Original Message -----

From: John Spillyards
To: Connie Perdue
Sent: Friday, June 08, 2007 2:56 PM
Subject: Neighborhood Burglary

Hi Connie,

I live at 9402 Topridge Drive and wanted to make you aware that I had a car break in last night. It was about 3:00 - 3:30 AM. Apparently they took a spark plug and smashed my passenger window to gain access. I was parked in the driveway and have an aftermarket alarm system. It was the alarm and lights coming on that evidently spooked them off. They were unable to steal anything due to my quick response and loud alarm.

I also recently, two weeks ago, had 2 kids coming door-to-door seeking assistance for an "entrepreneurial program" for school. After telling them that I had recently contributed to other students, they used foul language and sulked off. I questioned them about who they were with exactly, and when I wasn't sufficiently answered I demanded that they leave the neighborhood. They responded by going across the street in front of my home and staring at me. So, I called the police and within 45 - 60 seconds of calling, a man in a mini-van pulled up and wanted to know what the problem was. He verbally scolded the boys and loaded up in the van and took off. I still gave APD the man's description and tag number.

Hope this helps.

John Spillyards

 

From our friends in Spicewood Estates:

Purse Stolen at HEB and a GREAT ALARM IDEA

From: Connie Perdue
To: Undisclosed-Recipient
Date: Wed, 06 Jun 2007 09:02
Subject: Safety Alerts and Tips

Moms Beware!

I just had a friend email me that her friend got her purse stolen from HEB (620/Anderson Mill) grocery store parking lot. It was a set up with 2 people involved. While the woman put her kids in their car seats, a college-age, clean-cut girl asked her for directions. While the woman was standing just feet away giving directions, someone took her purse from her front seat. She didn't know what happened until she went to start her car.

By the time she was able to cancel her cards, they had already purchased items.

Just wanted to pass this along so that we are reminded to watch our surroundings.


A GREAT IDEA

Put your car keys beside your bed at night. If you hear a noise outside your home or someone trying to get in your house, just press the panic button for your car. The alarm will be set off, and the horn will continue to sound until either you turn it off or the car battery dies. This tip came from a neighborhood watch coordinator.

Next time you come home for the night and you start to put your keys away, think of this: It's a security alarm system that you probably already have and requires no installation. Test it. It will go off from most everywhere inside your house. It works if you park in your driveway or garage. If your car alarm goes off when someone is trying to break in to your house, odds are the burglar or rapist won't stick around.... after a few seconds all the neighbors will be looking out their windows to see who is out there and the criminal won't want that. And remember to carry your keys while walking to your car in a parking lot. The alarm can work the same way there.