This message is provided by Mary Rudig of the Love North Austin newsletter. .
SXSW and Crime
SxSW is in full swing and APD has decided to pull an additional 150 cops to help downtown this year. What does that mean for our Neighborhood Watch?
Last year, the neighborhoods around Far West had 9 home burglaries in less than 6 hours during SxSW. The homes all had families that had left on vacation, which means that a criminal ring had cased and targeted these neighborhoods.
I wish I could say this was strange, but SxSW crime sprees have become very, very common in Austin. The criminals know the cops are busy and being allocated downtown, and they do take advantage of the situation. Region II, our region, generally is around 11-14% understaffed at all times, so we are at a real disadvantage during SxSW.
After the break-ins, NWACA over in Far West formed a few Watches and neighbors started calling 911, and letting each other know whenever there was anything suspicious. I attended a Watch meeting for NWACA a week ago, and their home burglaries had dropped 64% in 6 months. 64%. That's a huge drop, and it goes to show why Watches are so, so important.
Please spend this next week being extra vigilant. Check your "5" -the house on either side and the three houses across the street.
1. Make sure there are no flyers, extra mail, packages, or newspapers that might alert a thief that somebody isn't home.
2. Put your extra car in the drive of neighbors who are on vacation.
3. Take 5 extra minutes to make there are no trash cans left on the curb after trash pick up.
4. Be extra, extra careful about solicitors. Most of the home breaks in we have had in Gracywoods have been tracked back to criminals pretending to be solicitors. We want these criminals to go back to their buddies and say "Wow, don't go to Gracyswoods and try to be a solicitor. They call the cops and they ask questions".
5. Keep your cars clean, and all garage remotes in the house.
6. If you see anything suspicious, call APD and then please post it here on Nextdoor so we are all aware. This also helps APD figure out the movements of the criminals. Criminals don't obey neighborhood boundaries--if Walnut Creek tells the cops they think a green car was involved in a break-in, but we decide not to call when we see a strange green car, then how will the cops know that the criminals are in our area as well?
7. Finally, know what the criminals are looking for. Here's a video of a criminal who burglarized 600 homes:
And as always, many Watch documents and info are available here to help you and your street: www.lovenorthaustin.com/watch-in-a-box.html
Thank you for helping keep NW AUSTIN NEIGHBORHOODS safe!!!!!
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