Less than two weeks ago, one Clear Lake woman tells us her home was burglarized. Someone stole a giant change jar with hundreds of dollars in coins.
"There was a trail of change in the kitchen," she recalled. "That's how I knew something was gone or I probably wouldn't have even noticed it for a couple of days."
She doesn't want us to show her face, but her voice could not conceal her frustration.
"I don't know what else they can do if they're just kids looking for targets of opportunity," she said.
Putting our exclusive Crime Tracker to work, we've interpreted police statistics about crime in the Clear Lake area. Comparing January and February of 2009 to 2010, it shows burglaries are up more than 20 percent. In March of this year alone there were 17 burglaries. But theft is down about three percent.
Violent crime is down, though. Rapes are reduced in that same time period by 53 percent, aggravated assaults down 29 percent and total violent crimes are also off by nearly 20 percent.
"In this day and age, so many people just walk inside their house, shut their garage door and stay inside their house," said Leslie Alvarez of the Clear Lake City Community Association. "They don't look around. They don't pay attention to what's going on to their neighbor's house."
The Clear Lake City Community Association is working to reduce the number of burglaries here and to reestablish what used to be an active neighborhood watch program. It's something police say is vital to crime reduction.
"It's to educate the people to what they can do to help themselves and help us keep the crooks out of the neighborhoods," said Randy Derr with the Houston Police Department.
To that end there will be a new neighborhood watch meeting Thursday, April 8 at 6:30pm at the Clear Lake City Community Association's recreation center offices at 16511 Diana Lane.