Theft rate at Mount Bonnell already 4 times higher this year than all of 2019


AUSTIN (KXAN) — As the summer winds down, Mount Bonnell is already seeing theft levels at four times the rate of reported thefts from all of 2019.

Between Jan. 1 and Sept. 8, 2021, there have been 220 reported thefts, 15 lower level crimes like drug possession and one report of aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon. Comparatively, in all of 2019, crimes reported through the Austin Police Department’s crime tracker noted 54 thefts and one lower level crime at Mount Bonnell.

From a month-by-month basis, May leads with the highest number of thefts reported so far in 2021, with 47 documented incidents. This number nearly supersedes all thefts reported in 2019, which saw a total of 54 incidents reported all year.

KXAN last reported on rising crime rates at Mount Bonnell in late July, when a total of 157 thefts had been reported in the year to date. In the seven weeks that have passed, that figure has jumped by 63 thefts, a 28.6% increase.

KXAN has reached out to Austin Police Department on potential updates to the area’s patrols and safety measures following the increase. A spokesperson said the department’s investigative unit will look into the recent aggravated burglary as well as protocols in place.

Council Member Alison Alter — whose District 10 coverage scope includes Mount Bonnell — said ongoing safety issues at the park impact visitors and city residents alike and her office is working with APD on solutions to help mitigate heightened crime in the area.

“Mount Bonnell is a beloved natural jewel that attracts visitors from far and wide, and we must make it safer. I am deeply concerned about the increasing number of vehicle burglaries in the area, and my office is in continuous communication with APD about these crimes,” she said in a statement. “We have worked with APD District Representatives to increase APD and park ranger presence around Mount Bonnell, and we are hoping to install HALO surveillance cameras to help catch the people responsible for this string of vandalism and thefts.”

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