Police Chief Joe Treviño and Lt. Richard Cantu said at least a dozen homes have been targeted in the last three months.
“They’re in and out in about three minutes,” Treviño said. The burglars even have struck homes with alarm systems and have gotten away before the police arrive.
Cantu said the thieves have always entered the same way, by kicking in a door.
“They go after appliances, mostly electronics,” Cantu said. In one recent burglary on North Adams Street, the thieves also took jewelry.
“Mostly they’re getting flat-screen TVs and computers,” Treviño said.
The chief said he thinks there are at least two people, possibly three involved. He said one person probably acts as a lookout.
The burglars have stayed within an area of the northeast corner of the city, striking mostly at night.
Cantu said they usually hit at dusk, “right after it gets dark.”
All the burglaries have taken place within a quadrant of the city extending from East Corpus Christi to East Inez streets and from North St. Mary’s to North Archer streets.
“It isn’t like we’re not trying to catch them,” Treviño said. Detectives and patrol officers have been on the streets in that part of town every evening, often patrolling in their personal vehicles.
“I’ve even been out,” the chief said. “I’ve got dedicated officers who are going out on their own time to try to get these guys. We just can’t catch a break.”
“What we need is extra help from the community,” Treviño stressed. “We’ve had people call us 20 minutes after they heard something suspicious. By then, it’s too late.”
The chief said something like an unusual noise, a strange car in the neighborhood, strangers approaching a house when nobody is home, anything like that should be a reason to pick up the phone and call police.
He urged residents to write down the license numbers of suspicious vehicles and report them to the BPD.
Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.