The car thieves have apparently targeted a six-block area of Denton, striking repeatedly over the past several months.

“I guess everyone’s had their car broken into,” said Ruth Marshall, who lives near 6th and Maple streets.

Late last month, car thieves, using a break-in device, forced their way into her car and stole her radio. Marshall witnessed the theft and chased the culprits down the street, but they managed to escape in a waiting orange Volvo station wagon.

Denton Community Police Officer Brian Pruitt reported at least ten cases of auto theft or auto break-in during November and early December, in an area extending approximately from North to Lake Streets and 16th to 25th streets.

Pruitt said, however, that increased auto crimes had been occurring in that area since at least August. “Auto robbery is a crime that is on the rise in Denton”, he said.

The neighborhood officer said he did have possible suspects in the case and planned to begin some plainclothes surveillance to try to ferret out the criminals.

Besides being besieged by car thieves, upper Denton residents have also been made fearful by a knife-wielding bandit, who struck a total of seven times in November and early December. His victims were women coming home from work.

According to Officer Pruitt, the attacks took place around 28th and Main streets, as well as on Jason Alley, 18th, and 22nd streets.

Pruitt said the robber would commonly pull up in a car m front of the victim, jump out with a knife brandished—in five of the incidents—and demand the woman’s purse.

None of the women were harmed during the robberies; they all surrendered their purses without a struggle.

During the course of their investigation, police discovered that the assailant was using a stolen vehicle, which had been taken from a 16th Street address.