Spike in stolen trucks along I-35 in Round Rock

Round Rock Police say four pick-up trucks have been stolen since May 3rd, in parking lots close to I-35 in Round Rock. (KXAN Photo/Lauren Kravets)

ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — Over the last week and a half, Round Rock police say four pick-up trucks were stolen from retail shopping center parking lots along I-35. Among the vehicles stolen was a 2012 Ford F350, that was later recovered in Austin.

“It’s a newer vehicle so of course it drives smoother, it drives nicer.”

Robert Hartgrove describes his new car, but it’s just a rental. Hartgrove says the last time he saw his old truck, a 2004 Chevy Silverado, was last week.

“I actually left the house and went and got a full tank of gas and went to the car wash and got it nice and clean and vacuumed it all out,” explains Hartgrove.

Hartgrove says he then went to The Home Depot for about twenty minutes.

He recalls, “Checked out and when I went outside, there was nowhere to put my 2×6’s because my truck wasn’t there.”

Hartgrove realized it was stolen and called police, who told him his truck wasn’t the first one taken that week. Others had been stolen along I-35, during the afternoon and early evening hours.

“Anytime that you have something that you’ve paid for, that you own just taken from you, it definitely strikes somewhere in your heart that, what is actually safe?” says Hartgrove.

During the first three months of 2016, 18 cars were stolen in Round Rock. That’s compared to just seven that were taken during the same time last year.

In the most recent cases this month, three of the trucks stolen had guns inside.

Round Rock police say from January 1 through May 8th of 2016, twelve guns have been stolen during car burglaries. In five of the cases, guns were taken from unlocked cars.

During the same period last year, only six guns were taken from cars, three taken from unlocked vehicles.

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