AUSTIN, Texas - Neighbors in Olympic Heights said at least five people there have had something stolen from their car in the past week.
“It is a big frustration and it is a big violation,” said Jon Cardwell, whose car was targeted on May 4.
“I came out and I noticed some envelopes on the ground around my car and my door was slightly ajar. Then I opened it and the inside was totally trashed and my wallet was missing along with a Gerber pocket knife,” Cardwell added.
One of Jon’s neighbors' surveillance cameras captured photos of the suspect and victims have even put together a reward of $250 for information that leads to the stolen items.
The suspect is described as a white man about 5’6” with blonde hair. At the time of the thefts, he was wearing baggy jeans and a hooded sweatshirt and carrying a skateboard.
Cardwell said it seemed the man was checking for unlocked car doors while walking down his street.
“You expect to feel safe and, the one time my car is left open, this happens,” said Cardwell.
CrimeReports shows which areas in Austin have had the most thefts reported in the past month. The majority of areas with the highest number of reported thefts seem to be along the I-35 corridor as well as the downtown area.
Austin police said in addition to the burglaries in Olympic Heights, there have been more than 20 car thefts reported in Southwest Austin. In more than half of those cases, the cars were unlocked or the car keys were inside of the vehicle.
That's a mistake Cardwell said he won't make again.
“Just lock your doors. Just be ready,” Cardwell said.
Austin police are warning the public not to become an easy target. That includes hiding any valuables or taking them inside, making sure to lock the car and taking the keys inside and not leaving a garage door opener or car title inside the glovebox.