Bold burglars targeting Houston neighborhoods

August 13, 2011 3:20:21 AM PDT
The quiet safety of three Houston neighborhoods has been shattered by a series of home burglaries and now, those neighbors are working together to reclaim their streets. As those families react, police say there are things we can all do to protect our homes from burglars.

Sunset Terrace is just one area where neighbors are organizing community patrols right now because it appears these bold burglars keep coming back.

"They've broken our back door twice," the victim said.

It's the type of burglary that's becoming all too familiar for neighbors in Sunset Terrace. Crooks have shattered one victim's door twice already.

"It's very frustrating. You don't feel very secure. We even upgraded our security system after the first time, but you don't feel very secure when they come back multiple times," he said.

The unknown crooks have been busy recently smashing windows and doors, ransacking closets and stealing valuables from homes in Sunset Terrace, Mont Clair, South Hampton and West U.

"These guys are pretty bold. They are coming out in daylight, hoping that people aren't home and going in through back doors and stuff," a neighbor, who identified himself only as Scott, said.

And the victims say alarm systems and pets don't seem to be driving the thieves away.

"We've got neighbors that are putting up cameras, and all kinds of stuff. Everybody's kind of going into lock down mode," Scott said.

Houston Police Crime Prevention Officer Alvin Steelman says there are a few things you can do.

"One thing that we strongly recommend is getting involved with your neighborhood. Get to know your neighbors," Steelman said.

Securing jewelry and valuables in a place thieves won't suspect.

"We recommend strongly that you put that in a safety deposit box, or somewhere that's a real secure place. Keep what you normally wear, but maybe not in a jewelry box, but some other special hiding place," Steelman said.

Steelman also says home alarm systems work in most cases.

"I talk to my neighbors, hey, if you ever see this alarm going off, please don't hesitate to call 9-1-1," Steelman said.

A loud siren did get the attention of neighbors as burglars ran from one man's house.

Eyewitnesses say the unknown men drove off in a silver-colored compact car, with a partial license plate of CLS.

Anyone who notices any suspicious activity is encouraged to call police.

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