River Oaks residents worried about crime wave

Crime awareness meetings, fliers handed out to neighbors

HOUSTON - People who live in and around one of Houston's most affluent communities are concerned for their safety because of a new crime wave.

Car break-ins, bike thefts and vandalism have people in the River Oaks area concerned. People are coming together to try and figure out a solution to the growing crime problem.

Fliers are being distributed at apartment complexes about the problem, and crime awareness meetings are being held.

Around the Westheimer Road and Kirby Drive intersection, thieves have targeted several apartment complexes in a three-block area.

Police said since January, thieves have hit the West Ava complex, 7600 Highmeadow Drive, at least nine times. The Belle Meade at River Oaks complex, 2929 Westheimer Road, reported at least three crimes. La Maison, 2727 Revere Street, had seven thefts or burglaries and at least 13 car break-ins.

Criminals have cut the locks on bike racks and stolen thousands of dollars worth of bicycles -- more than a dozen total over the past few months.

Car windows have been smashed, and valuables such as electronics and guns have been stolen.

In most cases, apartment managers said the crooks are following residents in through the garage, then wait until it's clear to look for items to steal.

Tiffany Utterson was shocked to learn of the crime spree.

"I think it's very scary. I mean, this is a nice area and unfortunately, that's something I'm going to be on the lookout for now," Utterson said.

Houston Police said they are aware of the issue and detectives are working on the cases. They are asking residents to be extra vigilant and report anything that looks suspicious.

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