AUSTIN (KXAN) — Neighborhood leaders in Lost Creek have increased private security patrols to keep away suspects who have broken into dozens of cars in the area.

The Austin Police Department (APD) is looking into the reported cases, but said it “is not seeing a spike.”

Several residents, like Wes Breyfogle, said they have submitted non-emergency reports through 311 over the past couple of weeks, and are still waiting to hear back from a detective.

“We understand we have a smaller police force than we’d like right now, and it’s hard to patrol everywhere,” Breyfogle said.

He installed a ring camera in his son’s car after thieves got into the vehicle last week.

Ring camera in car
Lost Creek resident installs Ring camera in car.

“I personally was a little proactive,” he said about the move.

The Lost Creek Limited District held an emergency meeting this week to discuss the break-ins

Chris Vetromile, the group’s vice president, said for the short term – the neighborhood has funded to increase private security patrols so guards can cover the late-night hours. He said the group also suggested the possibility of raising money to have a constable patrol the area, but that idea is in its early stages.

APD offered the following tips for community members:

  • Do not leave anything of value in your vehicle or outside in your yard.
  • Never leave or store firearms or ammunition in a vehicle
  • Keep any bags or valuables out of sight before you arrive at your destination (remember, the [burglary-of-vehicle] suspect is always watching)
  • Park in well-lit and well-populated areas
  • If you can, park in an area you know is monitored by cameras
  • Invest in a good, high-quality home surveillance camera system and use it.

A representative from Council Member Paige Ellis’ office attended the emergency meeting to hear the concerns. Ellis released the following statement regarding the alleged crimes.

“I am deeply concerned about the rash of recent car burglaries in the Lost Creek Neighborhood. My constituent director attended Sunday’s emergency meeting to take input from neighbors calling for action. My office looks forward to working with both the neighborhood and the Austin Police Department to increase the level of security and promote preventive measures homeowners can take to protect their property. Also, I remain committed to continue advocating for federal grant funding to help APD improve its vehicular burglary and theft enforcement and education efforts.”

District 8 Council Member Paige Ellis