FORT HOOD, Texas -- Eleven privately-owned vehicles were burglarized in Fort HoodAca,!a,,cs Pershing Park housing area sometime during the night of Aug. 11 to the early morning hours Aug. 12. The one common denominator in all the thefts were vehicles left unsecured.

Aca,!A"It was a target of opportunity,Aca,!A? said police Lt. Bobby Stevens, a detective with Fort HoodAca,!a,,cs Directorate of Emergency ServiceAca,!a,,cs Law Enforcement Division Aca,!" Investigations.

A witness observed two men throwing property over a fence, then climbing over themselves. When the witness confronted the pair, they fled on foot. The witness pursued the suspects in his vehicle, eventually finding some of the stolen property in a dumpster. He then led officers from the Killeen Police Department and detective Ken Snyder from DES to where the stolen property was dumped.

Snyder said the witnessAca,!a,,c actions led to the apprehension of the suspects. Still, he said the witness took a risk by confronting the suspects.

Aca,!A"It was definitely risky,Aca,!A? Snyder said. Aca,!A"From a safety standpoint, you donAca,!a,,ct know if that person is armed or not.Aca,!A?

Aca,!A"The smart thing to do is keep your eyes on the suspects and call the appropriate law enforcement authorities,Aca,!A? Stevens advised.

More stolen property was discovered Friday when KPD officers arrested six suspects, ranging in age of 17-20, at an area hotel. DES investigator Stephan Cantwell was called in and verified that the property found at the location was, indeed, stolen from Fort Hood. Of the six taken into custody, two were cited and released. Four were arrested and detained, Snyder said.

Though the suspects were caught, thanks in great part to the witness who followed them, Stevens said the thefts would never have happened if vehicle owners had locked their cars and secured their valuables.

Aca,!A"WeAca,!a,,cve had instances where (suspects) Aca,!A| they just go checking doors, and take fast-moving items like GPSs, iPods and iPhones Aca,!A| something small that they can reach in, grab and run,Aca,!A? Snyder said.

He said another thing thieves look for is government-issued property.

Aca,!A"Certain government property is only authorized to be transported to and from a SoldierAca,!a,,cs residence, and not stored there,Aca,!A? Stevens said. Aca,!A"ItAca,!a,,cs not authorized to store in your trunk on in your car.Aca,!A?

Aca,!A"Lock your cars, lock your residence,Aca,!A? Snyder added, Aca,!A"and donAca,!a,,ct store government property in your car.Aca,!A?

The officers advised housing area residents to lock their homes and ensure that their motion sensor lighting is working. They also urge Fort Hood residents to use the Aca,!A"House WatchAca,!A? program if going on vacation. Call DES at 287-4001 for details on the program, or simply stop by and fill out a form.

Aca,!A"It doesnAca,!a,,ct matter if itAca,!a,,cs one day or a year, if you want it checked, weAca,!a,,cll check it,Aca,!A? Snyder said.
Stevens had one last reminder for Soldiers and families living on the installation: Aca,!A"Keep an honest person honest. Protect your valuables.Aca,!A?