Area south of downtown sees influx in burglaries

July 1, 2010 at 2:01 a.m.

A total of nine businesses in an area just south of downtown have been burglarized since May 16.

The majority of the burglaries occurred within a block or two of West Water and Southwest Moody streets.

The latest happened at Sign Crafters Wednesday about 5:20 a.m.

Robin Janecka, who owns Sign Crafters with her husband, Richard, said this is their third theft in 14 years but that this time was "really bad."

The burglar or burglars managed to get away with more than $11,000 worth of tools and electronics, Janecka said.

"I know there's a crime spree going on, and it's just sad," Janecka said.

Lt. Mike Hernandez, who works in the investigations department at the Victoria Police Department, hesitated to call these burglaries a "crime spree," though.

Hernandez said all of the burglaries share similar details, which could mean they're the work of the same person or persons.

Hernandez said the burglaries occur mainly after hours and that some sort of prying tool is used to gain entry into the businesses.

"If I had to pinpoint a certain individual, I'd say it's someone who lives in the area and knows their way around," Hernandez said, adding that he or she might not have transportation.

Mark Goodman, the owner of Team Sports, said his business was broken into on May 16.

The burglar or burglars took about $10,000 worth of computers and sportswear.

"We were lucky, though. The biggest thing they took was an expensive software package," Goodman said, adding that insurance has covered his losses.

Joe Ramirez, who works at Anchor Lumber, said he's seen signs of forced entry at the business on at least three different occasions, but that nothing seems to be missing.

Hernandez encouraged businesses to contact the department's Crime Prevention unit, who will send officers to analyze business' security and offer advice on how to improve it. They can be reached at 361- 572-6868.

He also encouraged anyone with information on the burglaries to contact Crime Stoppers at 361- 572-4200 or the Victoria Police Department at 361-485-3700.

"Burglaries usually lack evidence, so a lot of times, these cases are solved with the public's help," Hernandez said.



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