Keeping an Eye Out for Car Burglars

By Ken Kalthoff
|  Thursday, Aug 12, 2010  |  Updated 6:45 PM CDT
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Greenville Car Burglaries on the Rise

NBCDFW.com

A repeat car burglary victim is fighting back with a video surveillance system.

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Greenville Car Burglaries on the Rise

Car burglaries along Greenville Avenue are on the rise, and one repeat victim is taking a high tech approach to stopping the breakins.
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A repeat car burglary victim is fighting back with a video system that has already netted him results.

Lower Greenville resident Christian Ryan's car was burglarized three times in the last four months. He installed a video surveillance system two weeks ago to record what happens outside his home.

"I want to fight back, and I did with these cameras," Ryan said.

While Dallas' overall crime rate has fallen, the rate of motor vehicle burglaries is rising. Crime in the city was down 5.9 percent in the first seven months of this year compared to last year. But burglaries of cars are up 12.1 percent.

The Lower Greenville Neighborhood Association Crime Watch reports 30 car burglaries in July alone, compared to the normal number of 16.

"More often than not, we find that the cars are parked on the street, they're left unlocked, and there's valuables in plain sight," LGNA leader Darren Dattalo said.

Ryan's video surveillance system captured a suspicious person peering into his girlfriend's car early Tuesday morning.

A man drove up in front of Ryan's home in an expensive sports car at 3:30 a.m., got out and looked into the car, which was parked in the street. But the man left without breaking into the car, perhaps because no valuables were left in plain sight.

"The same night, there was at least one car broken into that I know of less than a block away," Dattalo said.

The crime watch leader turned the video over to police and posted it online for neighbors to see.

"It's a great neighborhood, and I wouldn't live anywhere else, but this is the only way I can control, from my vantage point, what's going on and understand what's happening on my property and my street," Ryan said.

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