WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas - The Williamson County Sheriff's Office says there has been a spike in vehicle burglaries over the last month.
WCSO has responded to 81 burglaries and nine stolen car incidents in the Parkside at Mayfield Ranch, Larkspur, Summerlyn, Stonewall Ranch, Santa Rita (North and South), MorningStar, Rancho Sienna and Crescent Bluff neighborhoods. Thirteen firearms were also reported stolen.
Video surveillance recorded the suspects in action and show what detectives believe to be an organized group. WCSO says the suspects walk from car to car, checking if the doors are locked, while another person slowly drives down the street, usually in a stolen vehicle, following close.
In each instance, if the doors are locked, the suspects move onto the next vehicle. If the doors are unlocked, the suspects search through the cars and steal valuables like backpacks, wallets and guns. If they find car keys, the suspects take the vehicle.
Surrounding agencies are also seeing the same crimes, according to WCSO, which adds that the same organized group is believed to be behind those crimes too.
WCSO is advising all residents to take the following actions to protect their belongings:
- Lock your car doors: Most of the burglaries are done on unlocked cars. WCSO says locking your car doors is the most effective way to prevent your vehicle from becoming a target
- Don't leave valuable items in your car: If there's nothing of value in plain view, the thief will move on.
- Report it: If you are a victim of a car burglary, even if nothing is stolen, report the incident.
WCSO is asking anyone who sees suspicious activity in their neighborhood, like a car driving slow and someone walking next to it lifting door handles or looking into car windows, to call 911 immediately.
Anyone with information on the burglaries is asked to contact the Williamson County Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-253-7867, by going online, or by using the P3Tips mobile app.