AUSTIN (KXAN) — A suspected serial burglar who may have hit 40 or more homes is behind bars, thanks to video from a game camera installed in one South Austin home burglarized in April.
Austin police said they were able to link several robberies to Milton Bruce Anderson, 56, after one South Austin man captured Anderson on camera. The victim of a separate burglary managed to write down the license plate number of a rental car Anderson allegedly drove while robbing his house, according to a police report.
Larry, who preferred his last name not be used, was working out of his house on Villanova Street midday on April 24 when he heard a knock on his front door.
“I got within 6 feet of the door, and it just exploded open — and wood shot all over the place,” Larry said. “A man came into the house, and I saw him and screamed. He turned around and fled. And I decided to get his license, so I followed him.”
On the driveway, Larry says they had another face-to-face.
“We exchanged glances; then as he sped away, I got his license number and called APD. They were here within five minutes.”
Another home a few miles away was also broken into that day. Tara Lane Bowman said the burglar ignored the security warning sign in her yard and smashed in the front door. She and her kids had just left.
“I have three children, and two are not in school all day long. I am grateful they were with me and my oldest was in school,” she said. “I’m grateful he was caught, and I think the best place for him is someplace he can’t do this again.”
APD detectives believe Anderson used rotating rental cars as part of his burglary getaway fleet. According to the police affidavit, they tracked one to a Dollar Rent A Car at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
Workers at the rental location said the picture on the victim’s game camera matched the look of Anderson. After being confronted by a detective, Anderson allegedly said he had been “locked up for 30 years of his life, and he wanted a lawyer,” according to the affidavit.
Anderson has been charged with 10 counts of burglary of a habitation, two counts of attempted burglary of a habitation and a parole violation, according to the Travis County Sheriff’s Office.
Anderson was released from prison in August 2014, serving a sentence for burglary. The affidavit outlines several other burglaries in which Anderson could have been involved and allegedly targeted jewelry, among other household items.
An APD crime analyst suspects Anderson, based on his burglary method and physical description, could be responsible for up to 40 other break-ins.