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Crime

Police warn of daytime burglaries

The Free Press of Buda, Texas

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A recent string of daytime burglaries in Kyle has Police Department Chief Jeff Barnett asking citizens to be vigilant.

According to Barnett, as of Feb. 9, seven Burglary of a Habitation calls have been reported across Kyle since the start of 2016.

Authorities say the burglaries involve an individual ringing doorbells and/or knocking on homeowners' doors.

If there is no answer, the thieves assume there is no one home. Accomplances then break windows in the back of the home and enter the premises.

According to the city, recent burglaries have involved the theft of items such as cash, jewelry, guns, gaming systems and other electronics.

In some cases, homeowners were surprised by the suspects' brazen attempt to loot their homes with them still inside.

One Kyle woman told authorities she heard her home's doorbell ring, and when she was on her way to answer it, her front door was opened and the suspect walked inside. After seeing her, the suspect turned and ran away on foot, evading police before they arrived on scene.

Kyle Police believes multiple persons are involved in the incidences. The department is working "several angles and multiple potential leads" on the cases.

But Barnett described these burglaries as "disturbing" because of their stark contrast to the more commonly seen "crimes of opportunity."

In those crimes, individuals walk down a street of parked cars, checking each door handle. They quickly loot the ones left unlocked of smaller items such as purses and electronics like cell phones and tablets.

"Since around December until present day, we have seen an increase in burglaries that have been reported during the day," Barnett said.

Barnett stressed the importance of citizens remaining alert even after a break-in has been reported in their area. He said suspects have been known to strike the same area multiple times.

Social media, however, has proved to be an effective weapon for Kyle residents and the police to combat the the threat.

More and more, people are taking to social media and documenting encounters with unsolicited and suspicious visitors.

Some of the stories involve an individual asking a homeowner an innocuous question, such as whether they speak Portuguese or are interested in buying a vacuum, and then walking away.

Barnett recommends all citizens, especially those with young children or elderly relatives, remain vigilant by locking all doors during daytime hours, even while home.

He said discussing safety procedures with family members, along with watching out for friends and neighbors, is important.

Anyone who witnesses suspicious behavior, such as someone ringing your doorbell and then asking if anyone in your home speaks a particular language, are asked to close and lock the door and call police.

"It would be helpful to know if there were multiple individuals involved," Barnett said. "Descriptions including height, hair and skin color, clothing and any unique features such as tattoos or scars would be extremely helpful."

Police Chief Jeff Barnett recommends all citizens, especially those with young children or elderly relatives, to remain vigilant by locking all doors during daytime hours, even while home.



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Original Publication Date: February 17, 2016



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