Cars targeted in crime spree at Kirby Place apartments in southwest Houston

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Cars burglarized at apartment complex in southwest Houston. (KTRK)

A man's handgun was taken in a spree of car burglaries that left 15 to 20 vehicles damaged in just one night at a gated apartment complex.

John Karsten and his roommate were heading to work last Thursday when they found both of their trucks had front passenger windows broken. They quickly found they weren't alone.

"We talked to people here and it was almost the same exact thing. Just a window. Nothing of mine was taken out or my roommate," he said.

Karsten said some of those he talked to at Kirby Place Apartments, located at 7500 Kirby, did have stuff stolen -- including one man who had a gun taken from his Mustang.

Houston police got several reports from the complex. They are looking for the culprit and say the number of break-ins could make this a felony.

But it's not always easy to find the bad guy. Thieves can be in and out in just minutes.

"It's difficult to catch someone in just a smash and grab," Karsten said.

LKQ Pick Your Part Salvage Yard in southwest Houston said it regularly sees customers looking to replace parts damaged or stolen in petty crimes. The lot allowed Eyewitness News Reporter Steven Romo to break some vehicle windows to see just how fast the process can be.

Police said it often doesn't even take breaking out a window because many people neglect to lock their cars in the first place. Officers suggest that you don't leave anything valuable in your car, especially in view of people passing by.

HPD asks anyone with information on the car burglaries at Kirby Place Apartments to call Crimestoppers.

Drew Wilson, a spokesman for the complex, said they are working with investigators.

"We are cooperating fully with the Houston Police Department's ongoing investigation of the recent incidents. Also, in addition to our on-site weekend security, we have also increased gate security on the weekdays," Wilson said. "The well-being of our residents at Kirby Place is a top priority, and our community will continue to be a great place to live, work and play for our residents."

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