Thieves burglarizing vehicles by the dozen in Houston apartment parking areas

Houston police are investigating a new crime trend in Houston involving car break-ins. So far this week, HPD has responded to four apartment complexes where thieves smashed windows to dozens of cars.

"In the last week, we’ve had about four [apartments] that I know of for sure, where we had over 20 vehicles in each one broken into," said Sgt. Tracy Hicks from HPD’s Auto Theft Task Force.

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More than 80 vehicles have been burglarized at Houston apartments this week.  On Wednesday, we went to a gated apartment complex near NRG stadium that had been hit overnight Tuesday. More than 20 vehicles in the apartment’s parking lot had windows busted by thieves. Even on the road outside the apartment, a hearse had a broken window.

"The security guard was out here doing rounds," said Miguel Villa. "I guess it wasn’t enough."

Villa’s black Mercedes was broken into at the apartment. However, he says the thieves didn’t take anything from his car.

"They just rifled through it to find something of value," said Villa. "I guess they didn’t find anything of value and let it be."

According to Sgt. Hicks, thieves are likely looking for firearms to steal.

"These guys are looking for one thing and that’s guns," said Hicks. "We’ve had reports of laptops being left behind, iPads being left behind, wallets, even cash in the center console being left."

More than 4,100 guns were stolen from inside vehicles in Houston last year. In comparison, roughly 3,700 guns were stolen from inside vehicles in 2021.

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"[Our teams] are all on high alert right now and actually looking more in the nighttime for those guys coming and going, but it’s tough," said Hicks. "We’re not going to cross our fingers and hope it doesn’t happen. We have to do something proactive, and that’s harden our targets."

Houston police want to remind people to never leave guns inside cars. In addition, hide valuables out of sight and upgrade your alarm system. There are new alarms that alert you remotely if your car has been burglarized.