Police warn about increase in car burglaries

June 15, 2013 4:15:52 AM PDT
A Crime Tracker alert -- Houston police say they're seeing a big jump in car break-ins in neighborhoods across the city. And it's especially become a major concern for residents on the northwest side.

Right now police are warning you that locking your cars just isn't enough. Burglars are on the prowl, and they're hitting some northwest side neighborhoods pretty hard.

A resident parked a Buick in Oak Forest. Its locks were popped with a screwdriver, crooks ripped out the stereo and stole speakers from the trunk.

"Well, it's scary," said Diane, a concerned neighbor. "It's definitely scary."

Scary, since neighbors are learning the Buick is among a string of cars and trucks thieves broke into this week in areas across northwest Houston.

"We've had a significant increase here in The Heights," said HPD Sgt. Chad Wall. "It's actually a little over 50 percent."

Sgt. Wall says some drivers are making their cars easy targets for thieves.

"The problem is they are leaving purses, computers, and all that kind of stuff in their vehicles," he said.

Using 13 Eyewitness News' exclusive Crime Tracker, we looked at reported motor vehicle burglaries across northwest side patrol beats, including neighborhoods like the Heights ? Westport, Timbergrove, Oak Forest and Garden Oaks to name a few. The data shows police responded to 211 car burglaries in those areas between January and March last year, compared to the 368 break-ins during the same time this year. That's a 74 percent increase.

As for that Buick, it was later found abandoned about two miles away.

Diane said, "It doesn't seem to matter what neighborhood you live in, it's going to happen."

Police say car burglaries in some areas like Sunset Heights are actually down about 14 percent, but that doesn't mean you should let down your guard.


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