Local vandalism, criminal activity continues

Four Points News

Several more reports of graffiti, vandalism, trespass, mischief cases have been reported to the Travis County Sheriff’s Office over the past week or so in Four Points. This is added to the long list of reports since mid-March including the March 25 graffiti case at Canyon Ridge Middle School.

Two more graffiti reports in the past week included one on March 30 at 9:41 a.m. in the 4800 block of Steiner Ranch Blvd. and another on March 27 at 1:20 p.m. in the 10800 block of RM 2222. Earlier that day at 10:44 a.m., a report of criminal mischief was filed in the 11300 block of RM 22222. On March 29 a case of criminal trespass was reported at 3:57 p.m. in the 7300 block of RM 620 N.

There were two vandalism cases reported last week as well, one on March 28 at 3:42 p.m. in the 7300 block of RM 620 N and one on March 29 at 3:38 p.m. in the 6600 block of Sitio Del Rio Blvd.

These new cases in the Four Points area are added to a dozen reported cases since mid-March of the same type of crimes including criminal trespassing, criminal mischief, vandalism and graffiti.

The Travis County Sheriff’s Office has a person of interest in the March 24 criminal mischief case at the Meritage Apartments were a toilet in the pool house was damaged, said Kristen Dark, TCSO spokesperson.

In addition to CRMS’s graffiti case on March 25, other graffiti cases were reported on March 23 in the 10400 block of RM 2222 and on March 22 in the 6600 block of Sitio Del Rio Blvd. On March 20, two more cases were reported on RM 22222, in the 10600 block and one at in the 10800 block.

The CRMS case was at least the second incidence of graffiti at the school since late October when graphic graffiti was painted on an exterior wall. The sheriff’s department is investigating.

“Vandalism is a common problem at schools,” Dark said. “Canyon Ridge recently installed surveillance cameras. That will surely curb the frequency and help us identify suspects.”

“We don’t have a problem with graffiti and criminal mischief incidents in the areas we patrol, except for Canyon Ridge MS,” said Brian Carlson, TCSO criminal investigations sergeant over west command.

But the reports show there is a lot of activity in Four Points. TCSO says many of the cases are in the Austin Police Department jurisdiction but APD said many of the cases are not in their jurisdiction.

Randy Schmaltz, executive director of Steiner Ranch HOA, said that over the past several months there have been instances of vandalism, suspicious activity and other crimes reported in Steiner Ranch.

The Steiner HOA has received increased reports about unauthorized activity in its greenbelts especially since the warmer weather started.

“Among other things, trees have been cut down to construct makeshift forts. Fire-rings have been constructed with evidence of fires being made,” Schmaltz said.

If residents see this type of activity, he asks that they report it to the Travis County Sheriff’s Office.

“In the past, the sheriff’s office has identified vandals and filed warrants for criminal trespass,” Schmaltz said.

For example, there were multiple occurrences of vandalism last fall at the John Simpson Park fields and one incident at the John Simpson Park facility. The Steiner HOA confirms that charges have been brought against individuals for an incident that took place there in November 2016.

Schmaltz encourages residents to file a report with law enforcement and not to just post it solely on social media sites.

“When residents don’t call or file a complaint or concern, police lose the ability to determine whether a pattern or trend is occurring, which is a true disservice to the community,” Schmaltz said.

In general, the people who do these types of crimes are kids who do this after hours and on weekends, TCSO’s Dark said.

“We count on residents to know their neighborhood and know what’s unusual. If you see that kind of activity, while it’s happening, please call 9-1-1,” Dark said.