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Home Burglaries Spike In Central Austin
KEYE TV has discovered some startling stats when it comes to home burglaries. Austin police said there's a dramatic spike in the Hancock, Highland and West campus neighborhoods in Central Austin.
APD told us home burglaries in that area have increased by 160 percent since last month. That's by far, the biggest spike across the city.
"You really feel violated," Mike Stoll said while standing in his living room on Monday.
Hes just one of dozens of people in the last three weeks who found their homes in Central Austin ransacked.
"There was a big pile of trash on the floor and they went through her closet, stole purses, handbags and shoes," he said while taking our camera crew around the house.
Also gone: an Xbox, cell phones and other electronics. Thieves entered his home through a dog door to steel the valuables. But Stoll said the worst part was his six year old daughter was with him when he returned to find the house turned upside down.
"She didn't want to sleep in her own bed that night," Stoll explained. "She has asked several times if the burglars are going to come back."
Stoll said several of his neighbors, some on the same street, have suffered similar fates recently.
"There shouldn't be this many break-ins in this neighborhood," he said. "I've been here since '96 and I've never had any issues."
"It is disturbing," Corporal Anthony Hipolito, with the Austin Police Department, said about the recent spike in crime. "Whenever there is an increase that high we want to attack that."
Hipolito and KEYE TV crunched numbers and found that since the beginning of the year, Hancock, Highland and West campus neighborhoods have had nearly 40 home burglaries.
Police said they're working on plans to lower those numbers by using undercover officers, along with more visible patrols and traffic stops.
"It's just scary," Stoll said. "It just seems to really have gotten quite a bit worse."
"Do what you can to make sure you're not a victim," Cpl. Hipolito warned.
APD said the top three things you can do to protect yourself is to make sure all of your doors and windows are locked, communicate with your neighbors and keep on all your outside lights on at night.
By Katherine Stolp