The back-to-back abductions of two women from busy shopping centers last month have people who live outside of Houston on edge and feeling more vulnerable, reports the Houston Chronicle . Some people who moved from the city to get away from crime now fear it is creeping into their communities. Law enforcement officials say crime isn't necessarily on the rise; people are just paying more attention to it because of the intense media coverage of the abductions, they said. One abductee still is missing a month later. A woman, 27, was kidnapped from a store parking lot on Feb. 21; her body was found the next morning 23 miles away. A high school classmate was arrested last week and charged with capital murder.
Kathryn Ledet, 25, said she thought crime had gone up in the area of one abduction because she had heard about burglaries and suspicious activity in the neighborhood. Then she saw the crime statistics, which show police had a 10 percent drop in the number of service calls they responded to in 2008. Chief Mark Herman of Harris County Precinct 4 Constable's Office said there has been a slight increase in burglaries and car break-ins in the Texas 249 corridor, but there hasn't been a trend in increased violent crime. It's not unusual for people's perception of crime to get distorted, especially when cases generate a lot of media attention, said Traqina Emeka, a criminal justice professor at University of Houston-Downtown.