APD Crime Viewer reports 34 burglaries in West Campus residences last year

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Photo Credit: Caleb Kuntz | Daily Texan Staff

Thirty-four burglaries occurred in West Campus residences in 2016, according to the Austin Police Department Crime Viewer database. 

APD’s Crime Viewer database presents crime reports based on geographic location. West Campus covers areas south of Martin Luther King Boulevard, north of 29th Street, west of Lamar Boulevard and borders Guadalupe Street. The most commonly leased apartment complexes in West Campus housing include The Block on Campus, The Quarters, Crest at Pearl and 21 Rio, among others, according to Uptown Realty Austin. 

The 34 burglaries reported in the database were limited and widespread, meaning most were one-time occurrences. During 2016, two burglaries were reported each at The Castilian, The Callaway House and 21 Rio, according to the database.  

“21 Rio has special keys to enter the building and code access, but to be honest, neither are (the best) measures for security,” said electrical engineering sophomore Muizz Soomar, who has lived at 21 Rio for a year. “I do feel safe in 21 Rio, since I’ve never been told of any break-ins … but I lock my doors whenever I leave my apartment and make sure my roommates do the same.” 

Sydney Sanders, community director for Pointe on Rio, said students sometimes don’t think there’s any risk in leaving their apartment doors unlocked because complexes are gated. Sanders said the complex hasn’t experienced any break-ins since she began working in August. 

“We have conversations about (preventative measures) and have a section in the lease that describes safety measures and guidelines to always follow, like locking your vehicle … and your apartment, things like that,” Sanders said. “But there are maybe more valuable items here in West Campus and … students aren’t usually worried about security like that.” 

Four burglaries were reported along Hemphill Park, which includes The Villas on Guadalupe and several small rental houses, the most out of any complex in the Crime Viewer database. 

Cameron Walsh, mathematics and French junior, has lived in The Villas since August. Walsh said he has not worried about break-ins because of The Villas’ extensive security measures. 

“I’ve never been concerned about break-ins because of the double security at Villas; residents need a (sensor) to open the gate and a key to open the apartment door,” Walsh said. “Break-ins aren’t ever completely preventable … but I make sure to lock the door to my apartment and to keep the blinds down on windows facing the outside.”

While Crime Viewer is a good resource for geographic data, APD does not recommend using it as an “end-all, be-all” when looking at crime levels, because the database does have limitations. 

The data only includes formal reports, meaning calls for police service where a report was not written are not included, and it does not include cases where APD later determined the reported offense did not occur. APD suggests residents visit areas themselves before making a judgement solely on Crime Viewer data. 

“Don’t rely on statistics alone. Statistics can lead to false impressions,” APD warns on their website. “Gather a variety of information. Visit neighborhoods and observe the surroundings.”