Calls for more security after increase in burglaries

HOUSTON The burglaries have been happening in the Sunnyside neighborhood on the city's south side. Residents are meeting Tuesady night to talk about what can be done and they want to know what the city is doing to address the rise in crime.

For more than 50 years, Annie Woodward has made what she can see from her front porch her business. And what she's seen lately is far too many of her neighbors become the victims of burglary.

"We had one about a month ago across the street," said Woodward. "It's really bad out here."

The problem has apparently become so bad in the Sunnyside Gardens neighborhood that its civic club president appealed Tuesday to Houston City Council for help.

"Something has to be done about this, ASAP," said Travis McGee, who grew up in the area and runs a barber shop.

Our exclusive Eyewitness News Crime Tracker confirms his concerns about crime. Comparing 2010 with 2009, burglaries in the Sunnyside area are up 11 percent through September. There were 339 burglaries between January and September of last year; for the same period this year, there have been 375.

McGee and others say crime has increased in direct proportion to the number of vacant properties here. And he says the neighborhood doesn't get the same attention that other, more affluent parts of town get from the Houston Police Department.

Police arrested two people recently after a crackdown on burglaries in the Montrose area.

"With any minority neighborhood, we always come dead last to our city government," McGee said. "But it's about time that we become a priority of our city government."

HPD says there have been 30 break-ins since September 1 and that they've beefed up patrols.

"Officers have been able to successfully arrest and charge several suspects and we are continuing the investigation in order to arrest and charge additional suspects," said Assistant Chief Daniel Perales, Houston Police Department.

If you are interested in attending the meeting, here is the information:

Neighborhood crime meeting
Sunnyside Multi-service Center
4605 Wilmington at Cullen

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