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Austin flood victims having to deal with regular burglaries and thefts

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Flood victim Mike Espinoza owns a landscaping company.  After the October flood, he started noticing his tools, wheel barrows and cleaning supplies were going missing.

He says thieves even stole a broken BB gun out of his truck.

Just days ago a vintage Vespa scooter was stolen right out of his driveway.

"That really hurt me because I spent a good amount of time fixing it and painting it.  I met a lot of good friends just riding it around," Espinoza said.

Looking at the Austin Police Department's "Crime Search" website, you can see a large number of thefts and burglaries in the Onion Creek area since November 1.

James McDaniel says he's had to chase trespassers off of his property and his neighbors' property at least 7 or 8 times since the flood.

"The other night I had a guy in a white Chevrolet pickup truck come by.  He's driving.  He's got a guy sitting in the passenger's seat with a spotlight shining a spotlight looking in the windows to see if there's anything available.  I come out of the house to get the tag number and he's got the tag blacked off.  So you know he's sat and thought about it for a little bit," McDaniel said.

McDaniel lost his mailbox in the flood.  As he was installing a new one recently he left for a minute to go help a neighbor.

"I went up to help him move some stuff, I came back to the mailbox, the pole that I had bought to put it on and everything else...gone," McDaniel said.

It wasn't just the mailbox.  McDaniel says his new drill and bits were gone as well.

"It's ridiculous.  We've been hit hard enough already.  We don't need the thieves down here hitting us anymore," McDaniel said.

"You know we're down but we're not out.  And I'm still trying to keep a positive attitude about the whole thing.  It's just tough when you wake up, you walk outside and your stuff's stolen," Espinoza said.

Espinoza says he appreciates everything the Austin Police Department has done to help them.  He just wishes they would patrol the area a little bit more.
As of this week, Travis County added nearly $2 million to a fund to buy out flooded homes in the county.
Meanwhile, the City of Austin has identified 116 homes for its buy out program.

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