Special team targets burglars

June 11, 2009 3:31:42 PM PDT
In Sugar Land, there's a new effort to fight crime at the city's apartment complexes. It comes after a spike in burglaries. The Sugar Land Police Department doesn't want more residents to be victimized.Sugar Land police call this a significant increase in apartment burglaries. They've created a special team to target patrols at those complexes to put an end to the theft.

Every time Wendy Villava leaves her Sugar Land apartment she sets the alarm.

"Every day," she said. "Even when I'm at home I set the alarm."

Villava is concerned about being ripped off. Her husband leads a team of petroleum engineers who've all moved to Sugar Land from Kuwait recently. Of the 20 living in apartments here he says five have been burglarized.

Mazen Bibi explained, "Some guys got their TVs stolen, their laptops, stuff like that. One guy got his passport stolen."

There are about 2,000 apartment units at nine complexes throughout the city of Sugar Land. Police say last year from January through May there were only three apartment burglaries. This year during the same time period there were 14. That's more than four times the number of burglaries.

Sgt. Mike Richards with the Sugar Land Police Department said, "We have seen a significant increase at the apartments."

Sgt. Richards says Sugar Land PD has stepped up patrols around apartment complexes, increasing visibility in an effort to make them seem less attractive to potential crooks. Sgt. Richards say most of the thefts happen in the middle of the day when no one is home, and that the suspect or suspects will break in through the front door. He says they usually take only small items they can conceal.

Sgt. Richards says stopping them requires help from the public, such as a phone call if you see someone wandering through a complex suspiciously.

"We're going to catch them. We're eventually going to catch these individuals," Sgt. Richards promised. "I think I'd rather spend my time with my family or friends than in jail."

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