Recent robberies in The Woodlands prompt action

People in The Woodlands can expect beefed up patrols after a series of robberies in the area over the past few weeks
October 15, 2013 2:42:26 AM PDT
The Woodlands, in its idyllic suburban setting, seems to have been somewhat immune to the crime that often plagues Houston, but not recently -- with two violent armed robberies at McDonalds restaurants just miles apart on Woodlands Parkway and an early morning mugging in the parking lot of a 24 Hour Fitness. It's the kind of crime that has residents talking, surprised and concerned.

Just living here in The Woodlands, you wouldn't expect that kind of thing as much," said resident Alex Van Horn. "I guess I shouldn't be surprised, though."

"This is pretty crazy to have this happen in a one or two week period," said Montgomery County resident Michael Doyle.

The concerns extend to those running the township.

"In The Woodlands, we take crime very, very seriously -- any acts of crime," said Bruce Tough, board chairman for The Woodlands Township. "What I'd like to do is to encourage all of our residents and our businesses to be aware and if there's any suspicious activity that they see that could be a crime, they call 911."

It's also gotten the attention of Montgomery County Commissioner James Noack, who before Monday's public meeting, met with law enforcement to talk about the right response and prevention.

He said, "We do have some criminal behavior just south of us that is coming into Montgomery County and we want to make sure that we take a very aggressive posture. We want these criminals to know that they're not welcome here."

The Woodlands has already formed a task force of sorts to discuss the recent crime and is increasing patrols in shopping centers, parks and the mall, in what law enforcement insists is still a safe place to work, live and play.

"When you keep a low crime rate and something bad happens, it tends to bring more attention than usual," said Captain Andrew Eason with the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office.

The Woodlands Township issued the following statement to residents:
"Officials with The Woodlands Township have been working diligently over the weekend with Montgomery County Sheriff's Office District 6 to address recent criminal activities taking place in The Woodlands and in South Montgomery County. The Township will utilize overtime funding for additional Montgomery County Sheriff's Office District 6 personnel that will add patrol units throughout The Woodlands including the Village Centers. Law enforcement also urges residents to call in any suspicious activity immediately. Those who live or work in their residential or business communities know best of 'what and what does not belong.' Through our Community Policing philosophy of working together we can help to deter the criminal element."

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