By Kathi Bliss
A series of burglaries over the last few weeks have Lockhart cops spinning and asking the community to stay on the lookout for their neighbors.
Lockhart Police Department Detective Richard Torres is asking the public this week to stay on the lookout and make sure that any suspicious behavior is reported to the police as soon as possible.
“People have been telling us that they’ve been seeing things that could help us in this investigation, but they don’t want to call because they don’t want to ‘bother’ us,” he said. “But go ahead and ‘bother us’ if you see something strange going on in your neighborhood. That’s what we’re here for.”
The plea comes after at least eight homes all across Lockhart were burglarized in the last several days, in what appears to be a related rash of break-ins.
Torres said the burglaries have all taken place between 5- 10 p.m., and entry into the homes has been made through broken back windows. Some of the burglarized homes have had backyard fences, while others have not.
Torres said the department’s investigation has shown it to be likely that the suspects have been knocking on doors during the twilight and evening hours, and most likely burglarizing the first home they find in the neighborhood where no one answers.
A witness to one such burglary on Hunters Road said she had been approached by two young Hispanic men, one who spoke very broken English, asking her how to find the soccer fields. She did not report the contact to the police.
An across-the-street neighbor was burglarized that day.
Others have said, after the fact, that they saw two individuals in their neighborhoods during the hours of the break-ins, who appeared that they didn’t belong there, but that they chose not to report the presence to the police.
The items taken from the homes include mostly small items, such as jewelry, cash and small electronics, Torres said, suggesting the suspects might be traveling generally on foot, and taking only those things which can be easily carried or pawned.
Leads are slim, though, Torres said, because so many of the victims do not keep record of the serial numbers on their televisions, computers and cameras.
“If you have those serial numbers and can give them to us, then if those items are stolen and get pawned, we get an alert from the pawn shops immediately,” he said. “But without those serial numbers, there really isn’t all that much more we can do, except for watch out and hope we catch someone.”
The only information provided to the police thus far about the suspects is the report that they are two Hispanic men of medium build, in their late teens or early 20s. Police believe that they are “scouting” neighborhoods by knocking on doors to determine whether anyone is home.
Anyone with information about these robberies, or who witnesses suspicious activity in their neighborhood, is encouraged to call the Lockhart Police Department at (512) 398-4401, or to dial 9-1-1.