AUSTIN, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - We have an update to a story we brought you on Wednesday. We told you about neighbors in South Austin who believe recent burglaries are connected to a man who was caught on camera several times.
FOX 7 Austin can confirm that 49-year-old George Rodriguez was arrested today and is currently at the Travis County Jail according to jail records. It appears he’s same man we showed you Wednesday night. Wednesday, George Rodriguez was arrested for burglary of a habitation.
"Your home is your sanctuary your refuge and it's where you have an expectation of safety,” Surei Scanlon says. Officer Scanlon with the Austin Police Department says there's several tips on how you can prepare if someone decides to break into your home.
First things first.
- Report any suspicious activity.
- If you notice something's off, don't go inside. This includes if a door is caved in or there's broken glass nearby.
- Instead, wait for police.
"Call 911 and be very detailed when they do. Where they're at exactly, what they may have been driving or if they were on a bike or foot. If there's more than one subject all of these details are important for us to continue to investigate and do our jobs,” Scanlon says.
A FOX 7 Austin viewer told us she happened to be very close in proximity to the person who she believed burglarized her home. Scanlon says this is what you should do if this happens to you. "Leave that area, and try to get to a safe place as quick as possible. You just never know who you might encounter."
Scanlon says if you're going to be away from your home, let your neighbors know. Talk to them regularly so they're aware of your work hours. If you spot someone inside, report it immediately as suspicious activity to police.
If you have an alarm company, you can let them know this information too. She adds, "You're not asking your neighbor to get involved you're asking them to call 911 then contact you."
To prepare your home, and belongings:
"To protect you and your home better make a list of your TVs, radio components things that could be stolen, x boxes, making a list of what room they're in, serial number color of them. Receipts and if you don't have receipts take pictures of them,” Scanlon says.
- Keep a file of them whether it's on a hard drive or laptop.
- If you are burglarized, you have a list of possible items that may have been taken.
- This includes taking photos of jewelry and saving important information about important pieces too.
- If you have cameras, it's best to have them inside of the home because it will best help with the case.
Scanlon adds, “I think it would be a common response for someone to feel uncertain about their environment. A stranger is in your home. You didn't give permission, you don't know what they were doing and they may have taken your things and a lot of times when burglaries occur they create quite a big mess and they're going through a lot of personal belongings. There’s a lot of aftermath so it's not just us simply writing the report. It's the owner of the home having to clean up and face the reality that somebody was there."
Again, if you see anything suspicious or have information about a current crime, call police.