HOUSTON Houston s police chief is announcing a drop in a number of serious crimes in the country s fourth largest city.
Chief Charles McClelland said on Thursday that there s been a dip in violent crimes for the third straight year in Houston and an average 9.2 percent dip in burglaries.
Oak Forest isn t so sure that statistic rings true in their community. The third largest neighborhood recently hired its own private security patrols in response to the constant crime, including burglaries.
I think people are burying their heads in the sand, that they re not aware of just how bad things are, said Oak Forest homeowner Joe Guidry. No, they re up. they re up. We ve seen it. We ve heard about it.
Joe Guidry recently reinforced his front door with extra bolts in an effort to prevent a break-in.
The burglaries happening around Oak Forest have alarmed Guidry and many other homeowners in the area. One of the most recent burglaries happened a couple of doors down from Guidry over the weekend.
Yeah, I m mad. It makes me mad, said burglary victim Debbie Koenig.
Debbie Koenig was away from her home on Gardenia Drive when a thief crept in through a back window.
The criminal rifled through drawers and her closet, swiping expensive jewelry and a gun. She worries it could happen again while she s not home.
If my neighbors are also gone, then who s watching, other than the criminals? The criminals are watching, explained Koenig. I just got off the phone this afternoon to get an alarm system. The S.E.A.L program is going to be going past here, but they re not going to see what s going on in the backyard.
Koenig and other neighbors wonder when their Houston neighborhood is going to catch a break.
Chief McClelland said only category of violent crime that has gone up in Houston is robbery, with a 6 percent increase in the first nine months of this year compared to last year.