AUSTIN -- People just trying to rebuild their homes and clean up their properties in the Onion Creek area after the Halloween floods are facing another obstacle now -- thieves.
KVUE's news partners at the Austin American-Statesman reported Austin police have responded to 21 thefts between Nov. 1 and Jan. 16. That's a 50 percent increase from one year ago. Also, there were 16 thefts and burglaries of a vehicle -- a 78 percent increase.
"Every couple of days I see all of the tarps thrown off like they're digging through my stuff," said resident Joseph Pena. "About two weeks ago they stole two, big five-gallon buckets of tools, hand tools, sockets; I'd say maybe $1500 plus."
Neighbors said they do see police in the neighborhood often. The Austin Police Department said in January they put in an additional 150 hours of patrol time in the Onion Creek area.
Police have made several arrests, and they ask residents to report any suspicious activity. They also said to be cautious of any day laborers. According to the Statesman, day laborers have been suspects in some of the recent thefts.