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Austin Police Targeting Rundberg-Area Crime
Austin police are targeting the troubled Rundberg neighborhood.
The increased patrol is part of a plan to restore the area -- but cops can't do it alone.
Pedro Flores has been a Rundberg resident for the past 24 years.
"This is my neighborhood," said Flores.
But his neighborhood is plagued with problems.
"I caught a couple of guys breaking in cars," added Flores.
Prompting Flores to fight back. When he's not gardening, Flores is on patrol -- keeping a watchful eye from his front yard.
"Right now I'm out here; I can see six to eight houses. No one is going to break into any of these houses," said Flores.
It's Rundberg residents -- like Flores -- that cops count on to turn the troubled neighborhood around.
"The long term goal is to help the community help itself," said Commander Mark Spangler.
Austin police are on increased patrol. In five hours Thursday cops arrested ten people – most of them wanted on outstanding warrants.
"The people who commit crimes here don't live here and that's telling for us," added Spangler.
Spangler says cops are cracking down on narcotics, gangs and prostitution.
"I caught prostitutes having sex in the swimming pool area," said angle Mendoza-Lopez.
That prompted Mendoza-Lopez to fight for security in her apartment complex. One by one, Rundberg residents, like Lopez and Flores, are joining the fight -- protecting people and their property.
"You have to take charge of your neighborhood," said Flores.
Thursday's increased police patrol is paid for through a $1 million dollar grant aimed at restoring Rundberg. APD has eight more planned.
By Alex Boyer