Vehicle burglaries warrant added security

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    The Fort Worth Police Department has increased surveillance in the area surrounding campus in response to a recent surge in vehicle burglaries, TCU’s neighborhood police officer said.

    Neighborhood Police Officer Mark Russell said nine off-campus vehicle burglaries have been reported in the area surrounding TCU since Jan. 1.

    Russell said most stolen items, such as duffel bags and small electronics, were left in sight inside the vehicles.

    A special police unit, the Crime Response Team, has been patrolling the area since last week, Russell said. The team uses undercover officers and vehicles to offset the recent increase in crime.

    The team comprises 10 officers, one detective and one sergeant, according to the Fort Worth Police Department Web site.

    Russell said he didn’t know how long the team would remain in the area surrounding TCU. He said the team is dispatched to other areas depending on the police department’s priorities.

    There are two male suspects in the burglaries, Russell said. The men were last seen Monday cruising the 2700 block of Forest Park Blvd. in a forest green Toyota Camry, he said.

    Russell said he couldn’t link the suspects to all the burglaries.

    The most recent victims of vehicle burglaries in the area were two TCU students whose cars were broken into Monday in the 3100 block of McPherson Ave., Russell said.

    A hole was punched underneath the keyhole on the cars’ passenger side and the lock was manipulated, unlike the other seven incidents when windows were broken to gain access into the car, Russell said.

    According to TCU Police statistics, five on-campus vehicle burglaries were reported in January.

    TCU Police Detective Vicki Lawson said off-campus burglaries are more frequent because it is easier to access vehicles parked along a street than those in campus parking lots.

    “All the fences and barriers that we have are a great asset to help prevent crime,” Lawson said.

    Russell said students who see anyone suspicious around a vehicle should notify either the Fort Worth Police Department or TCU Police.