Burglaries on the Rise in Odessa

By Sarah Snyder
NewsWest 9

"It's all over town," Detective Tommy Jones, with the Odessa Police Department, said.

They're kicking doors in, breaking windows, and getting away with thousands of dollars of expensive merchandise.

"Crime is definitely on the rise," N N' Out Convenience store owner, Kelton Smith, said.

This past month, Odessa police worked a growing number of burglaries.

"The officers that would usually be patrolling the area looking for burglars being proactive are doing reactive work and going to calls rather than going to look for them," Detective Jones said.

And it's all because of the oil boom.

"The economy is real good here in Odessa and people are out looking, they're buying electronics and flat screen TV's and stuff and you have opportunities out there to take advantage of that," Detective Jones said.

"Everybody's doing good, so the burglaries also do good," Smith said. "Everything's lucrative right now. The more everybody else makes, the more they make."

It took the thief just 7 minutes to break the bars and glass at the N N' Out on 10th and Loop 338, and take everything from cigarettes to beef jerky. And it was all caught on a surveillance tape.

"Never had this happen before," Smith said.

Kelton Smith has owned the N N' Out store for 11 years. He tells us they've never had a burglary before until last month. They were hit two times in two weeks.

"No question what he did, what items he took, you can see it all," Smith said. "They get by one time, they think they can get by two. They go to the well too many times, they'll eventually get caught."

Odessa police believe drug dealers are behind most of these burglaries.

"It's a continuous rotation," Detective Jones said. "You have to have money to buy drugs. The drug dealers, they're getting stuff and hocking it for money to buy drugs."

And the N N' Out is now planning on installing large doors over the front of the store.

"That's the only alternative we've got now," Smith said. "The burglar bars didn't work, so switch to the garage doors. I keep my lights on and video running. That's all you can do."