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Just another smash and grab? How nonviolent crime can take a toll on the lives of its victims


On a Friday afternoon in late August, Paymahn Moussavi and his partner went on a bike ride at Lady Bird Lake and noticed glass on the ground when they returned to their parking spot.

As they got closer to his partner’s car, Moussavi saw that the window had been smashed and some of their personal items were stolen, like Moussavi’s checkbook, car keys and thyroid medication with his home address on it.

“It’s like a violation on so many different levels,” Moussavi said.

In Austin, crime against property—which includes those such as robbery, burglary and auto theft—is slightly lower compared to this time last year, according to the Austin PD's most recently released statistics. But those crimes still totaled 3,760, and Moussavi is one of the many who have dealt with the fallout of such incidents.

With his only set of car keys gone, Moussavi spent over $700 on two replacements. And though he called his bank to put a hold on his account, then later closed it, a fraudulent check went through anyway in the amount of $4,500. Plus, repairing damages to the car cost $450.

Billy Simoneaux, the sergeant for auto theft with the Austin Police Department, talked about some of the best ways to prevent an experience like this. Simoneaux said that it’s helpful to take all of your belongings, including keys and fobs, out of the vehicle.

“(Burglary of vehicle) and Auto Thefts are a crime of opportunity. If there’s nothing to take/steal then they often move on to another vehicle,” Simoneaux said via email. “It’s important to lock your vehicles as well. Often criminals go around simply checking door handles and enter once they find an open target. There are times in which entry is forced into locked cars but this is less seldom due to the risk of being noticed by another.”

Moussavi agrees that it’s important to not leave anything in your vehicle.

“What they tell you about not leaving anything in sight, that's true,” Moussavi said. “But it's just hard…you go from work to go somewhere. Like, how do you not have a bag? It just depends on what you're doing.”

And ultimately, he feels frustrated that whoever committed the crime was successful with taking $4,500 since he finds that it motivates them to carry on with stealing from cars.

“Even though my money is reimbursed, it enables them to continue,” Moussavi said. “That's a good score for somebody.”


Tito's releases (not so?) ugly sweater line for the holidays, profits to charity

Tito's Handmade Vodka

Show your love for Tito's and for the community this year with a wide selection of not that ugly, uglyish, ugly, uglier, and ugliest holiday sweaters.

There's lots choose from, and plenty of accessories like scarves and socks, plus gear for your dog, too.

All of the items can be purchased online or at the Love, Tito’s Retail Store in Austin, TX. 100% of all net proceeds from online or in-store purchases go to one of the nonprofits we’ve teamed up with.

Click here to see the entire collection in the Tito's store.

Mac and Cheese Fest and Free Art Exhibit
Waterloo Greenway, Good Vibrations Installation

🗓 All weekend

🎨 Creek Show Art Exhibit

Check out this highly anticipated art exhibition with illuminated art along Waller Creek. Tickets are free and the event includes food vendors, dazzling lights, live music, and hands-on activities

All weekend 6 p.m - 10 p.m | 📍Waterloo Park

✨ Mozart's Light Show

This iconic holiday tradition lights up for the first time this holiday season starting this weekend! Reserve your spot for an enchanting light and sound performance, delicious hot cocoa, sweet treats, and some overall fun with your friends or family. The show runs till January 6th.

6 p.m and 9 p.m | 📍Mozart's Coffee Roasters - 3825 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, TX 78703

🗓 Saturday

🥊 Kickboxing in the Park

This fitness event is free and open to the public. Get your morning started right with a "Fitness in the park" class for kickboxing! The class will be led by certified instructors and is a great way to get a cardio workout in while also honing your self-defense skills.

10 a.m - 11 a.m | 📍 Metz Park

🛍 The Front Market

Support local LBGTQ+ and female artists at this outdoor market with over 150 vendors. Get your holiday shopping out of the way at this event, with vendors for food trucks, handmade goods, raffles, hands on workshops and activities, and more.

11 a.m - 5 p.m | 📍Ani's Day and Night - 7107 E Riverside Drive, Austin, TX 78741

🗓 Sunday

🧀 Mac and Cheese Fest

Did someone say cheese?! If you're like me and always willing to get your hands on a bowl of mac and cheese, then this event is for you. Check out the Mac and Cheese festival happening this weekend to decide which vendor has. the best mac and cheese for yourself, and enjoy the bar with creative cocktails while you're at it. Tickets start at $45.

11 a.m - 3 p.m | 📍Lantana Place - 7415 Southwest Parkway