Vandals shooting out car windows in north Austin

AUSTIN, Texas-- Residents in a North Austin neighborhood are on edge after someone has been going around shooting out car windows in their area.

The Austin Police Department said there have been 15 cases reported in the Wooten neighborhood since early September.

Rachel Treadwell lives in the neighborhood and said it was just a matter of time before the vandals made it to her car. 

“I got to the house around midnight and woke up the next morning around 7:30 or 8 and the car window on my drivers side was smashed in. Plus, it rained that night, so my car was completely flooded, when I woke up and got in it, there was about an inch worth of water on my floor board,” Treadwell said. 

Vandals have been shooting out vehicle windows in her neighborhood for months.

“It makes everyone uncomfortable in their homes and worried about their property, and you know, it kind of spirals into a situation where you're not comfortable at the house and taking your dog for a walk,” she said.

APD said all the incidents are concentrated to the one area, and it's happening during the night, but they haven't been able to get any possible suspects.

“It appears, at this time, with nobody seeing anything happening, that they may be driving by in a car, so yeah it appears to be something, possibly juveniles,” said APD Detective Bing Lowe.

Detective Lowe said for those caught this is a serious crime. “It could be jail time, and a substantial fine,” he said.

APD is stepping up patrols to help find the vandals.

“We are on the lookout, we've got officers that are notified, officers in the area that work that area of town, what to be on the lookout for. Also, we've put out directed patrols for that area, which means officers in their spare time are actually in that area, looking.” Detective Low said.

Rachel said residents in the neighborhood are starting their own neighborhood watch and patrolling the area, and they are doing everything they can to help find those responsible.

“I hope they stop before they hurt someone, and I hope they don't get caught doing it by someone who would try to harm them, so it could go bad in a lot of different ways,” Rachel said. 

APD said they don't believe that residents have any reason to fear for their safety, because it seems to be vehicles are the target. They suggest residents try to park in garages and leave lights on to help deter the criminal activity.  They are also asking residents to be aware and look for anything suspicious and report it to them.