SUGAR LAND, Texas—Communities do not get much safer than Sugar Land, however that does not mean the city is without problems.
According to its latest annual crime report, 2012 saw some of the lowest rates on record in all areas except one: home burglaries.
“You know the bottom line is bad things still happen, even in safe places,” Sugar Land Police spokesman Doug Adolph said.
In 2012 the city witnessed a nearly 9 percent rise in burglaries from the year before. This year, the trend only seems to be continuing.
In January, thieves on a spree struck Thomas Holliday’s street in the Sugarwood neighborhood.
“Crime has been quick,” he said. “It’s in and out.”
It is also part of the reason he now owns a German Shepherd, while others simply pay more attention.
“I know the neighbors watch out for each other,” Holliday said. There are some that are here most of the time.”
Last month even the police chief fell victim, when two teens allegedly hopped his fence and triggered his alarm.
Yet despite the community’s growing presence of cameras and police patrols, officials worry there may still be a false sense of security among Sugar Land residents.
“I think sometimes people are drawn into a sense of complacency,” Adolph said. “They don’t think something is going to happen in a place like Sugar Land that is very safe. But the reality is it still does and we need to keep our guard up.”
He said in 16 percent of last year’s home burglaries, there was no sign of forced entry. Homeowners simply left their doors unlocked.
The most relieving part, perhaps, is that the majority of those crimes did not involve weapons or injuries.
Lowering the burglary rate in 2013 will be a priority for the police department. Sugar Land residents can schedule appointments with a crime prevention officer who will pay a visit to their home and suggest ways to make their property more burglar-proof.