It's time to stow away your Cartier cufflinks and Tiffany jewels in the safe and put your Baccarat baubles under lock and key. The Houston Police Department is reporting a staggering uptick in burglaries in affluent neighborhoods.
In January alone, 17 burglaries were reported in Boulevard Oaks, and Royden Oaks has seen a 200-percent increase in break ins. (KHOU first reported the new figures.) River Oaks and Afton Oaks have also been targeted.
Essentially, if your neighborhood ends in "Oaks," then watch out — particularly for a silver sport utility vehicle that has been reported as a getaway vehicle for a particular posse of robbers.
A few more statistics: Compared to last year, crime is up 22 percent in Afton Oaks, where more than 140 break-ins were reported in June. What's more, many break-ins go unreported. At the time of this story's publication, the Houston Police Department and Boulevard Oaks Civic Association did not respond to calls from CultureMap, and the River Oaks Property Owners, Inc. was unable to offer comment.
Are Houston's historically tony neighborhoods suffering from increasingly precocious criminals emboldened by police department budget cuts and a double dip recession? Time will tell what drastic measures neighborhood associations will implement in order to protect their lavish estates.