The Mayor Pro Tem of West University Place is among the neighbors in the affluent community on board with beefing up security measures in the city after a string of alarming crimes.
Bob Kelly’s wife was attacked outside their home last week while he was in Austin for a meeting.
She had just driven home from the Apple Store in Highland Village on National Night Out.
Kelly said his wife stepped out of her vehicle, and moments later, she found herself on the ground.
“She got out of the car and just barely made it out on the sidewalk. She didn’t see them. they just ran up on her and knocked her down real quick,” Kelly explained.
Kelly believes his wife was followed home in a crime trend known as “jugging."
“It just sent her into a state of shock. They just started grabbing at her. They got her purse and took her jewelry off. They pulled on her watch and rings. She was screaming so loud evidently people as far as a block away heard her,” he said.
Neighbors rushed out which scared away the three suspects.
However, nobody got a good look at the getaway vehicle’s license plate.
That was also the case during the brazen Sunday morning holdup of a jogger on College Street a couple of weeks ago.
There are sketches of three suspects in that case.
West University Place Police Chief Ken Walker said investigators could really benefit from surveillance video in both cases.
“It bothers us when there is any crime, let alone violent crime,” said Chief Ken Walker. “For several years, voters have demanded low taxes and we are seeing the result of some of that now.”
Walker said overall crime in West University appears to be going down after a noticeable uptick last year.
There was one robbery and 18 home burglaries in 2014, eight robberies and 42 home burglaries in 2015 and four robberies and 15 home burglaries so far this year.
“It’s unusual that people are targeted here,” Walker said.
West University is considering adding two more police officers to the force of 24 and surveillance cameras at some of the main entrances into the community.
Neighbors spoke up in support of that at Monday night’s public hearing for the 2017 city budget.
City council is expected to vote on that measure next Monday.