By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News
Four vehicles were reported stolen last Wednesday in Steiner Ranch and since then, all four have been recovered.
“Three vehicles were recovered in southeast Austin and one in the neighborhood,” said Roger Wade, Travis County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson.
The crimes began on the morning of June 24. At 7:24 a.m., the first vehicle was reported taken from the 12000 block of Montclair Bend, the second was reported at 7:54 a.m. from the 12300 block of Montclair Bend, the third was reported at 9:33 a.m. from the 12600 block of Rush Creek Lane and the fourth was reported at 9:49 a.m. from the 1000 block of Cavalry Ride Trail.
“The detective is following up on leads on the suspects. The detective said the suspects are juveniles,” Wade said. “We are hoping to make some arrests on the suspects soon.”
“It appears as though these were crimes of opportunity where the suspects were in the process of burglarizing cars and found keys either in the car or in another nearby car,” Wade said.
At this point, Wade did not know if the juveniles are local or from outside of Four Points.
The Steiner Ranch Social Committee put out a public service announcement last week stating that one vehicle was stolen from the garage and others from driveways and most were in the Bella Mar area.
Alison Swartwood posted on the Steiner Ranch Social Committee Facebook page that the “Cars were all different… Sequoia, Lexus sedan, I think an Infinity and if I heard right, a fourth which was a Denali.”
The Texas Department of Public Safety reports that more motor vehicle thefts are committed in July than in any other month. In the summer, many drivers leave keys in the ignition to keep the AC on or the windows down to keep a vehicle cool while running a quick errand. Personal belongings are often left in plain sight. Thieves know where to look to burglarize and steal vehicles that are easy targets.
The Austin Police Department’s Auto Theft Interdiction Program would like to remind drivers to take precautions to avoid becoming a victim. Keys were used to steal vehicles in nearly 50 percent of cases in Austin this year. These crimes can lead to other problems as well. When a purse, wallet, cellphone or laptop is stolen, private information is used for identity theft. It’s important to be aware of your surroundings and keep all valuables out of sight. Always lock your vehicle and never leave your keys. It takes only seconds to burglarize and steal a vehicle, but so does preventing it.
“Lock your cars, even if it’s in the driveway or garage,” Wade said. He expects to have more information this week on the local auto theft cases.