Police: Rash of burglaries in Montrose neighborhood

October 7, 2010 4:04:20 AM PDT
A sharp rise in burglaries in one neighborhood and the weather is making homes vulnerable to thieves. Today, Houston police officers will go door to door in the east Montrose neighborhood just north of Westheimer.

Police can't say for sure if these break-ins are the work of just one person. But it leads homeowners in the neighborhood to wonder because in several of the home burglaries, the same MO was used.

Yet, as comfortable and inviting as this weather may be lately, resident Anne Rice says, "It's not a good idea to ever leave your windows open ever anymore."

In the past month, there have been 17 burglaries and attempted break-ins in the Montrose area. Thieves targeted at least two houses on Welch Street alone, including Lorraine Zistler's.

"This is our home," she said. "We've lived here for a long time."

Zistler went to the store one morning around 9am and was gone no more than 40 minutes and on her way home.

"I saw a guy walking down the street carrying a couple of bags and looked kind of unusual, but I noticed our driveway gate was open," she said.

She went to the back door and found the lock lying on the ground. The thief had crawled into the Zistler's home through a doggie door and left with two laptop computers before he dismantled the door lock.

"He took the part that he touched and left, and he left the screwdriver on the counter," she said

Police, who are hitting the streets tonight to urge neighbors to secure their homes, aren't the only ones paying attention. These home burglaries have created quite a buzz on Facebook. Concerned residents are using the social networking site to track the crimes and raise awareness.

"If you want to stop the crime, they need to have more police patrolling during the day that people see," she said.

Police will be out in this neighborhood from 4 to 9pm. Even though the crimes are happening during the day, they wanted to be out here Thursday evening when residents are home.

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