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Austin Police Ask Robbery Victims to Call 311 Amid Staffing Shortage, Crime Crisis

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Austin Police in Texas asked residents to call 311 if they get robbed near an ATM over the weekend as the department struggles amid an increase in urban crime and staffing shortages.

The Austin Police Department posted a graphic in a post on X, formerly Twitter, to urge residents to call 311 or make an online report if they’re robbed; 311 is a number usually reserved for non-emergency requests, as opposed to 911.

“Even if you are cautious & follow all the safety advice, you may still become the unfortunate victim of a robbery,” the Austin Police Department wrote on X. “Do you know what your next steps should be?

“Make a police report & provide as much information as possible so we can recover your property quickly and safely,” the post added. The graphic included advice to mention the bank in the 311 report and include the date and time of the cash withdrawal.

Austin Police sent Fox News Digital a statement clarifying the post and affirmed that anyone who is assaulted or threatened during a robbery should call 911.

“The post was intended for victims of a jugging in general and not specific to robberies. Jugging is a form of theft that includes both robbery and burglary,” Austin Police explained in a statement. “It occurs when a suspect follows a victim from a bank to their next location before committing the crime.

“If your money was stolen from your car and the crime is no longer in progress, you can call 311 or make an online report.”

The post comes as the Texas capital grapples with a rise in crime. Compared to 2020, Austin has had a 77% increase in auto thefts, an 18% increase in aggravated assaults and a 30% increase in murders.

Austin Police Association President Thomas Villarreal told “Fox & Friends” in August the department is sorely lacking the resources it needs to tackle crime.

“We’re a growing city, a city that should be up around 2,000 officers and growing right now,” Villarreal said. “I’ve got about 1,475 officers in our police department and, you know, we’re moving in the wrong direction. There’s less and less and less resources to go out and do the job.

“I’ve got detectives who are pulled away from their caseload to just help answer 911 calls because we just don’t have the resources to adequately police the city.”

Source : Fox News

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