Disguised burglars target West Campus

Austin Police are investigating several burglaries near UT. In some cases, thieves are wearing some type of uniform to get into student housing.

FOX 7 spoke with a victim Tuesday who says he was asleep in his room when the burglary happened. APD says there have been 10 burglaries in West Campus within the last two weeks.

Dobie Twenty21 is one place that was targeted. We're learning in most cases, burglars are going through unlocked doors.

Jose Priego lives at Dobie Twenty21, a private dorm near the UT campus. During the early morning hours of February 26th, he says his room was far from private.

"Yea I mean, you're sleeping and someone enters your room, like that's kind of scary because you don't know what they can do to you," says Jose Priego, victim, Dobie resident.

He had heard some noise but thought it was his roommate and went back to bed. When he woke up, he noticed many things missing.

"They took my PS4, my laptop. They also took my roommate's laptop," says Priego.

APD's Burglary Unit says there has been 10 burglaries in the last two weeks. There were 4 burglaries at Dobie Twenty21 on February 26th and in a separate incident on March 2nd, there were 6 burglaries at Villas on Guadalupe. In that case, two suspects have been arrested.

"You want to be aware of your neighbors, be aware of what's going on and just be on the lookout for suspicious activity. Some of these people have a good story and they are fairly believable. If you really look at them, they're going to be nervous because they're getting caught," says Detective Davud Knutson, Austin Police Department.

That has been the case in some of the recent burglaries, when the suspect walked into a room and was faced by the resident.

In others, property was taken, mostly small electronics. Detective David Knutson says to be on the lookout because the burglar may be in disguise, trying to scam you.

"If somebody is wearing any sort of uniform, especially if they are coming into your room, you want to check their credentials," says Detective Knutson.

Danielle Driggers says her friends were recently burglarized. Now she is making sure her door is locked at all times.

"I think just making sure people know to lock their doors and know what the risks are because that wasn't really clear before. For some people it's common sense but other people, it's not necessarily because it is a pretty safe building," says Danielle Driggers, Dobie resident.

So far this year, there have been 21 burglaries in West Campus.

  • In 2015 and 2014 there were 49.
  • In 2013 there were 70 burglaries and in 2012 there were 75.

APD says these scams, where a burglar is in disguise, happen all over Austin and not just in West Campus.


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