WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Several people living in Leander and Liberty Hill learned the hard way not to leave their vehicles unlocked.
During the past two nights, deputies from the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office said someone broke into six cars and stole four handguns.
Four burglaries happened in the Summerlyn neighborhood in Leander, while residents reported two more in the nearby neighborhood of Stonewall Ranch in Liberty Hill.
Justin Salas, who lives in Summerlyn, said Tuesday that word spread quickly around the neighborhood about the break-ins.
“Once that started happening, I told my roommates and my wife like, ‘Hey, make sure your doors are locked all the time’ even though we already do that,” Salas said. “But definitely don’t leave valuables in there because people like to snatch and grab.”
The stolen handguns are especially concerning to Commander Gary Haston with the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office.
“The weapons on the street makes it dangerous not only for citizens but also law enforcement that’s dealing with these issues,” Haston said.
He said these newer neighborhoods are targeted because they’re located off major highways, like U.S. 183 and State Highway 29.
“They go, and they go to every car just checking the doors,” Haston said. “Then they have a quick getaway is what their mindset typically is.”
Since there have been no arrests yet, deputies are now looking for security camera footage, while neighbors deal with an unfortunate realization.
“You want to believe your neighborhood’s a safe neighborhood,” Salas said. “Your kids can go out at night and not have to worry about it, but I think it brings back a reminder that you should always be vigilant.”
Deputies are now asking people to register their security cameras with the Community Camera Program at the Sheriff’s Office. Doing so will not immediately give deputies access to footage, but it will let them know whom to ask for video when a crime may happen in a neighborhood in the future.