Thieves target country club members

KINGWOOD, TX Police are actively pursuing leads. One thing they know for sure is that it appears the thieves are staking out their targets before they strike.

At the Kingwood Country Club, some members admit the sense of security here is so real that it's easy to get complacent.

"We think sometimes we're in a little bubble here in Kingwood," club member Laurel Erickson said.

But that bubble may have burst after a rash of smash and grab car burglaries. Nearly a dozen have been reported in the last three months -- all in broad daylight.

"They could just stand around until no one is out here," club member Lisa Moyer said. "I'm sure it's easy."

What's more is that the thieves seem to know which vehicles have valuables left inside of them. Some members seem to be more vulnerable than others.

"Lots of moms toting around three kids like I am today and maybe being a little distracted," member Jill Whtie said.

It's a crime of opportunity. While they've had a security officer in the past, the country club is banking on its members and employees to be more vigilant.

Management believes it's more effective.

"These guys are not deterred by seeing a security guard in the area," said Mike Feild with the Kingwood County Club."They wait for him to leave, and then they hit, and they're gone."

Using our exclusive CrimeTracker, Eyewitness News found that car burglaries in Kingwood were up slightly, to 8 percent, through May of this year. These crimes are not isolated to just the country club.

"We go look to see if they're any clues and then we go investigate and figure out," Houston Police Department Lt. C Brown said. "We've had a fair amount of success in things like that."

Police are warning residents to take these crimes seriously and not to leave any valuables in plain sight -- even if they plan on being away from their vehicles for just a few minutes.

"You have to value your things," said Marilyn Foil. "You have to take care of them."

The Kingwood Country Club has been e-mailing out alerts to its members, warning them to take the proper precautions. If you have any information about these crimes, call Houston police.

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