Since only a fraction of the crimes committed in Austin make it onto the local news broadcasts, most people have no idea how many crimes really take place each day. They may not even think about it until they become the victim of one. Property crimes are problematic in Austin and are above national averages. On September 20, 2015, there were about 100 crimes reported during the day that were classified as theft, burglary, arson or vandalism.
According to the local KXAN News, the Austin Police Department is backlogged with property crimes by more than 48 months and needs to hire more forensic experts if they hope to reduce these types of crimes. In 2013, the FBI reported nearly 60,000 total property crimes in Austin, Round Rock and the immediate surrounding areas. This showed a rate of more than 3,000 per 100,000 individuals. Over 41,000 of the reported property crimes were in the city of Austin alone. Although arson and vandalism happen in Austin, the two most troublesome real estate property crimes are theft and burglary.
Theft In Austin
2014 crime reports from the Austin Police Department showed a rate of nearly 3,400 thefts per 100,000 people. The amount of thefts during the year totaled more than 29,400. Over 60 percent of the city’s reported thefts involved property, and less than 40 percent involved vehicles.
Burglary In Austin
The Austin Police Department reported over 5,700 burglaries in 2014, which totaled a rate of more than 650 burglaries per 100,000 individuals. Only 30 percent of the burglaries involved businesses or other targets, and 70 percent of the reported burglaries involved residential buildings or private homes.
Why Austin Residents Should Care
A recent research report from KEYE TV showed that Austin has 8 percent more property crime than cities of similar size. It also has 28 percent more reported incidents than cities of similar size. In the report, a woman stated in an interview that her neighbor’s home had been burglarized two times in less than a year. These crimes can happen to anyone at any time.
How To Prevent Property Crimes
The best way to prevent property crime is to have a security system installed. When criminals case properties to choose their targets, cameras and alarm systems are two of the biggest deterrents. They know that cameras will capture their image and put them on law enforcement’s radar, and they know that an alarm system will trigger a quick response by law enforcement and limit their time in a home or business. It is helpful to place stickers or signs indicating an alarm and camera system on all sides of the property. Businesses can benefit from locked gates, secured entry systems and pull-down bars for stores with large windows. For homes, these steps are good ways to supplement a security system for preventing property crime:
– Consider getting a dog to watch the property, and be sure to post warning signs.
– Install a high and sturdy fence around the property.
– If there is a gate, make sure it is locked whenever possible.
– Do not leave curtains or blinds open at night.
– When leaving the home, make sure windows are not left open.
– Do not leave grills, mowers, bicycles and other items out in the yard.
– Keep the garage door closed when nobody is in the garage.
– When traveling, stop mail delivery temporarily.
– Set lights to come on and televisions to record while home occupants are away.
– Install motion lights outdoors near all doors, garages, outbuildings and gates.
Although the Austin Police Department does its best to keep resident safe and is proposing to beef up its force to focus more on property crime, crimes against property will still happen. Homeowners, renters and business owners must take the basic steps to make themselves less vulnerable and should add a security system for maximized protection. One unfortunate part of property crime is when violent crime accompanies it. While burglars prefer to enter a home when it is vacant, they may mistakenly or deliberately enter when someone is home. They are often armed and may not hesitate to hurt an adult or child. Protecting home and family is important for every household. Contact us to learn more about affordable security systems that deter would-be burglars and give families peace of mind.