HPD offers safety advice to Shady Acres residents

January 28, 2010 5:11:19 PM PST
Some homeowners on the northwest side of town were surprised to see police officers at their doorsteps. It's part of a program aimed at stopping burglaries before they happen. The homeowners got a much-needed lesson about personal safety from Houston police officers.

When officers fanned out across her neighborhood, Jennifer McTopy was relieved. She's noticed an uptick in burglaries in her Shady Acres neighborhood.

"One of these houses, right near the street, overnight all four of his tires disappeared from his SUV. They've since moved," said McTopy.

We took a look at crime statistics around Shady Acres using our exclusive Crime Tracker. From September 2008 to September 2009, robberies were up six percent and burglaries saw a two percent increase.

"It is concerning. I didn't know that was a problem around here," said resident John Joudran.

Houston police said many burglaries could be prevented with a few simple steps by the homeowner, including installing an extra lock on the door, keeping shrubs well-trimmed and simply turning on your security system.

"The one thing people don't realize is break-ins typically happen during the day and not at night, so a lot of times we'll receive calls where someone will hear someone breaking into their home during the daytime and they actually have an alarm system, but they don't activate it," said Officer Brent Moore of the Houston Police Department.

For neighbors in Shady Acres, the advice from police officers was much appreciated and more than a few will be making changes around their homes.

"It makes me feel better that they're out here doing something about it, giving the pamphlets out and letting us know what to do," said McTopy. "Apparently my door needs to be a little more secure."

We found that a lot of the people in the Shady Acres area just moved in because of new townhomes and other new houses being developed. Many did not know the history of the community and did not know what to do which is why they say the advice from HPD was very appreciated.