Police search for home burglars

Police search for home burglars

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Austin Police are searching for whoever is responsible for a series of home burglaries in southwest Austin, some while the residents were home.

"My wife woke me up about 2:30. There was a helicopter and search lights shining in the windows and at least four cruisers coming down the street," said Jeff Backaric who lives in the Western Oaks Subdivision.

Police say his neighbors, living in the 6900 block of Robert Dixon Drive, were home when the suspect, described as a 5'11" tall man with a medium build, broke in with an axe.

"They try to get in and get out as quickly as possible and they try to do it when they're not detected. Normally, that's the makeup of a burglar. There are situations where they may go in and cause harm," said Jermaine Kilgore with the Austin Police Department.

The night before, at about 10:30 PM, another family's home was hit in the 7000 block of Bent Oak Circle.

"Suspect used a large rock to force entry into the residence," added Kilgore.

Austin Police say making sure your house is well-lit and letting burglars know your house has an alarm are good ways of preventing you from being their next target.

"Some of our neighbors have been to the training provided by the Austin Police Department," Backaric said.  "If there's an upside to this, I think we'll have a little more activity, a little more volunteerism and the neighborhood watch will gain some momentum."

Erika Padilla lives in the same neighborhood.

"My next door neighbor was broken into and when he came by my baby was asleep and my dog came to the door, going crazy, but I didn't hear anything that night, so it was scary to know it was that close," Padilla said.

On June 12th and July 17th two homes were burglarized in the 5700 block of JanaByrd lane, not at night, but during the day.

"We're now getting together at least once a week to talk about what we can do. We have signs to let everybody know, hey, we have neighborhood watch now. We're letting them know hey, you're not going to break into our house," added Padilla.

Residents in the Western Oaks Subdivision say three additional burglaries happened in July.

No one has been injured.

In many of these cases, the burglar is breaking in through a back door, breaking out a small window and reaching inside to unlock the door.

No one has been arrested, but police do hope to have evidence results back soon from Friday's break in.

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