Residents say Camden Shadow Brook Apartments is seeing a rise in crime

AUSTIN, Texas — The Camden Shadow Brook Apartments in South Austin have become a target for crime, according to some tenants who live in the complex.

Kalyn Ybarra said she and her husband have lived in their apartment for about two and a half years and have seen criminal activity steadily escalate.

“(Camden Shadow Brook Apartments management) refuses to put up cameras. They refuse to increase security. Half the time, the gates are wide open,” Ybarra said.

In the week of Oct. 23, more than 30 cars were broken into, and a few weeks before that incident, several mailboxes were damaged, including hers, Ybarra said.

“My mail was stolen, my mailbox is still down, my mail is still being stolen,” Ybarra said.

A resident who spoke to KVUE off camera said he was one of the victims of the car break-in, and said the front side of his passenger window was smashed. Fortunately, he said there was nothing of value inside.

The resident said he filed a police report and a claim with his insurance company, but when he raised his concerns with the management team, he received “several passive aggressive emails.”

KVUE contacted the apartment complex about vehicle break-ins and damaged mailboxes. In an email, the vice president of marketing for Camden — the company that oversees the complex — confirmed that multiple vehicles had been broken into and said the complex was working with the Austin Police Department to add more patrols to the area.

KVUE has reached out to APD and is awaiting a response.

Regarding the damaged mailboxes, Camden officials said the U.S. Postal Service notified the apartment complex that the master key had been stolen and that it was aware of the damaged mailboxes. The apartment complex said it has not received an update from USPS on when repairs will be made, adding: “We have shared this with residents but are at the mercy of USPS.”

“It’s really scary.”

Other residents, like Robert Jones, say the rise in crime rates didn’t happen overnight.

Jones has been a resident since January 2023, and said since moving in, he has experienced a series of maintenance issues, a lack of responsiveness from the management team, and noticed a rise in crime rates in the summer.

“There were cars stolen from the property. Then there were increases in windows being smashed, resulting in damage to vehicles,” Jones said.

Jones said he and other members of the complex began posting on a community forum about the issues they were dealing with and considered taking legal action.

“We’re all paying a lot of money to live here, and that’s what we’re going through,” Jones said.

Jones also described a time when someone entered his apartment without his permission.

In an email to KVUE, Camden said an unnamed resident made the claim, and that “this person claims to have video footage, which we would be happy to investigate and we asked them to share the video with us. They have not shared it yet.” With us after repeated requests.

Next steps

Ybarra said she and other residents want to break the lease, but termination fees prevent many people from doing so.

“Personally, if I could leave, it would be today,” Ybarra said.

Camden officials said they are hosting a community safety meeting with residents but have not specified when.

KVUE also asked Camden about the alleged lack of response from management and residents’ claims about the lack of security cameras. We are still waiting for a response.

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