In 2009, the report shows the department recorded 175thefts compared with 102 in 2008 and 66 in 2007. That's almost a 60percent increase last year alone.
Crimes ranged from shoplifting to petty thefts like stealingpatio furniture from an area restaurant.
"Somebody just pulled up in a truck, just took two tables andleft," said Adrienne Kolly, general manager of Mesa RosaRestaurant off Ranch Road 620 in Bee Cave. "People takethe weirdest things sometimes, but I guess in this area especially,it is just very unusual."
Surveillance cameras partially captured this theft and showedthe thieves pull up in a truck around 7 a.m., take the tables andthen drive away.
Retail growth and an increase in transient population were citedby police as factors in the crime increase.
"The City of Bee Cave has a population of 3,000 and we see atransient population each day of about 30,000 people passingthrough," said Bee Cave Police Chief Rusty Pancoast. "We haveHighway 71, a major east west corridor that passes through BeeCave. Ranch Road 620 also comes and intersects with 71 in BeeCave. In addition to that, we have Bee Caves Road that hits71 in Bee Cave and we have Hamilton Pool Road, the county road,that comes in."
Pancoast said with Bee Cave having some many thoroughfares cangive criminals easy access into and out of the area and introducesnew people to the area.
"We have a daily transient population of of approximately30,000 people. Those are people visiting our malls, theretail center," Pancoast explained.
The report shows that most of the crime increase is happening inretail areas or at area apartment complexes that are not gated,especially car break-ins. Pancoast, however, told KXAN manyof these crimes could be avoided if area residents and visitorsused common sense.
"Protect your property. Be aware of what's aroundyou. We would strongly encourage people to lock theirvehicles. Most of our vehicle burglaries occur with cars thatare unlocked and if people leave valuables laying in them inplain site, we have some that are broken into but predominantlythey are unlocked," Pancoast said.
While police believe most crimes are bring committed by peoplewho don't live in the area, visitors have also fallen victim tocrime.
"I had my social security [card] in there, my debit card and$30," explained Padgett Evenson, who had her wallet stolen out ofher sister's purse at an area restaurant last week. "I had togo all the way down to DPS to get a new driver's license."
Padgett said she is now carrying we wallet in her hand and Kollytold KXAN her restaurant will have to replace the patio furniturethat was stolen. Each table costs a couple hundreddollars.
In the meantime, police are continuing to try and catch thecriminals responsible, something they were able to do in 32 percentof last year's theft cases.
Pancoast said he also wants to reassure residents that the areais still a safe place to live and visit.
New crime statistics comparing crimes the crime rate in firstsix months of 2010 to the crime rate in the same time period in2009 show the number of reported thefts this year are already lessthan half of what they were last year.
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