Don’t make it easy for thieves

Those of us who live or work in Lakeway are blessed for many reasons. People are drawn to Lakeway because it is a well-managed city with a small-town feel. People settle in Lakeway to enjoy recreation in the beautiful parks and trail systems. People also make Lakeway home because they feel safe here. In short, Lakeway is a great place to be. The men and women of your Police Department work hard to keep it that way … and you can help, too.

The Lakeway Police Department takes crime-fighting seriously. We actively patrol the city and use traffic enforcement as a crime deterrent. We follow up on every lead and make every effort to put criminals in jail. Those efforts make a difference and Lakeway enjoys a low crime rate. But Lakeway is not crime free. Although violent crimes occur infrequently here (knock on wood), property crime is more common. Every week our officers take theft, burglary and/or fraud reports from your neighbors, and some of those crimes didn’t have to happen.

Glen Koen

Glen Koen

One key is to not be a convenient target. Many property crimes are crimes of opportunity. The harder a criminal has to work, the more likely they are to move on to the next target. Criminals want to get in, get stuff and get out as quickly and easily as possible.

This is where you come in. By doing simple things like locking your car, taking your belongings inside and ensuring packages are out of sight or quickly collected, you remove convenient opportunities for criminals to enjoy the fruits of your hard work. Unfortunately, criminals had some success last month, as we’ve received several reports of guns being taken from unlocked vehicles. These crimes not only create an issue for the resident who lost their belongings, but also may be a safety concern for everyone else. You can help stop this trend by locking your car and taking your keys with you. The department has received reports of residents not only leaving their vehicles unlocked, but leaving their keys inside as well. While it may be convenient for you, it’s an easy steal for a thief.  

Our officers patrol the city all day (and night) long, but they can’t be everywhere. Criminals know this. While many of those who come to Lakeway to commit crimes get arrested or pulled over for traffic infractions, in the mind of a criminal, sometimes it is worth the risk. It is worth the risk, because criminals are being taught that they can come to Lakeway and find cash, guns, jewelry and sensitive personal information in unlocked cars. When criminals have this kind of success, they learn to come back. When they come back, they end up exploiting others, and there starts a continual loop of opportunity. Criminals exploit this opportunity to commit more serious offenses, such as assault, robbery, identity theft, fraud and narcotics activity. 

I don’t want to reward or encourage criminals and I’m sure you don’t, either. Working together, we can properly re-educate criminals and discourage them from coming to Lakeway seeking easy loot. By pushing back against criminal behavior and eliminating easy opportunities, we maintain the safety and high quality of life we have all come to enjoy in Lakeway and slow the spread of crime being experienced in communities near us.

The members of the Lakeway Police Department are here to keep you safe and to be of service. If you have questions about crime prevention strategies, please contact us. If you plan to leave town for an extended period of time, perhaps that well-deserved vacation before summer ends, I invite you to take advantage of our House Watch program. Fill out the simple form on our website ( and we’ll have one of our officers do periodic checks of your property to spot suspicious activity, and notify you if they do find something.

Lastly, if you see suspicious activity, please call 911. If you are the victim of a crime, we encourage you to reach out to us and report it at (512) 261-2800.

I am honored to serve this great community. Please help keep Lakeway safe!

Glen Koen is the police chief for the city of Lakeway.

This article originally appeared on Austin American-Statesman: Lakeway Police Chief Koen: Don’t make it easy for thieves

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