AUSTIN (KXAN) - Car break-ins are a growing problem in downtown Austin.
That's what police said at a forum Tuesday night. But some simple research also shed some light on ways to crack down on criminals.
Police say it was an easy solution: crime is less likely to happen in well lit areas.
So when they saw a spike in car break-ins in the neighborhood around East Fifth and Sixth streets, they looked at the lighting, and determined the street lamps aren't up to par.
"They're aesthetically pleasing, to make this a nice area," said Franklin Hall, who owns a business on East Sixth Street. "But they just don't put out a lot of light."
Austin Police say they're planning to put mobile light towers in several spots around Fifth and Sixth streets east of the interstate.
They say poor lighting can give way to crime, particularly car burglaries.
People living and working in the area are noticing that kind of crime.
"The past couple of weeks we've been seeing a lot of broken glass," said Stan Templeton, who manages an Auto Body Shop in the area.
At a forum Tuesday night, police said car break-ins are on the rise in the downtown area. They then zeroed in on the hot spots.
"We just looked at the map, where the concentration of the most burglarized vehicles were located, and that's where we're putting the lights," said Police Lt. Tyson McGowan.
Police determined they will put light towers at the following intersections:
- Fifth Street and Comal Street.
- Fifth Street and Waller Street
- Sixth Street and Navasota Street
- Sixth Street and Attayac Street
The news is welcome for people like Templeton. He says the criminals are nothing short of brazen.
"You turn your back for a few minutes, and you come back to your car and it's broken in to. These people that are doing it are doing it with people all around," Templeton says.
The Auto Body shop's surveillance system even captured a man breaking into an SUV parked on Navasota Street. The video shows the man looking through the windows, then throwing a rock at the passenger's side window to break it, and finally putting on a leather glove to smash the glass in and take off with a laptop computer.
"The lights would definitely help a lot," Templeton said.
The bright idea isn't new. APD put mobile tower lights in other areas and say they saw a substantial decrease in crimes like car burglaries.
Police say they are willing to make changes. They told people at the forum to let them know of other areas where more lighting could help with safety. They say that because the lights are mobile, they can move them easily.
Because of her position as Travis County District Attorney, the deputies who arrested, booked, and restrained Rosemary Lehmberg last April admit they were worried her threats were legitimate.
American Airlines has emerged from bankruptcy protection and US Airways culminated its long pursuit of a merger partner after the two completed their deal Monday to create the world's biggest airline.
Even though there were no reports of iced over bridges or roadways like last week, officials are urging people to use extra caution while driving.
A 55-year-old man died in a single-vehicle crash just after midnight Monday morning near Lakeway.
More than 100 trees covered in lights now shine bright throughout Zilker Park. The Trail of Lights is open for another season.
Texas will face one of the nations top offenses in their second straight trip to the Alamo Bowl