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More charges filed against suspect in local crime spree

December 16, 2011  

by Tony Tucci

OAK HILL –  Additional charges have been filed against a man who burglarized two Oak Hill homes last week and led police on a chase through South Austin neighborhoods.

The Travis County Sheriff’s Office said Todd Zurovetz, 24, has been charged with two counts of burglary of an inhabited dwelling, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, evading arrest and violating his parole.

“Our detectives are meeting with APD (Austin Police Department) to figure out what additional charges will be filed,” said Roger Wade, spokesman for the Sheriff’s office. “The investigation is continuing and if more charges are warranted they will be filed,” Wade said. Meanwhile, Zurovetz is being held in County Jail.

Wade said that no arrest has been made concerning a report that a second man was operating in the Southview Estates neighborhood that morning. A resident reported that the man knocked on his door at about 7 a.m. The resident called the Sheriff’s Office, and later identified the man from photos shown to him by a deputy.

This was about an hour and a half after Zurovetz broke into two homes on Feather Hill Road and fled in a stolen 2010 white Toyota Tundra. Police spotted the truck on Manchaca Road and began a two-hour chase on foot and in vehicles through Southwest Austin neighborhoods. At one time, police shot at Zurovetz when he attempted to run them over and wounded him in the arm and hand.

Finally, Zurovetz barricaded himself in a home in the Oak Parke subdivision on Brodie Lane just south of Slaughter Lane. After a three-hour standoff Zurovetz gave himself up.

December 8 issue:

Possible second suspect in crime spree

by Tony Tucci

A second burglar may have been working the Oak Hill neighborhood where police began a five-hour chase Monday that included a lockdown at Bowie High School, shots fired by officers, and a suspect arrested after barricading himself in a home near Brodie Lane.

The Travis County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to the Gazette that they received a report from a resident that a man knocked on his door at about 7 a.m., an hour and a half after the first burglar broke into two homes in the 9000 block of Feather Hill Road in the Southview Estates neighborhood.

“The one … was shot by police; the other is the one that knocked on my door this morning and they’re still trying to track him. The sheriff brought a picture and I identified him,” the resident said in an e-mail.

“Lots of burglaries and people on the run in Granada Hills today,” reported another resident.

The first burglar, identified as Todd Zurovetz, 24, stole a gun and some ammunition and a white 2010 Toyota Tundra from the homes on Feather Hill Road. The homes were occupied at the time, and one of the occupants called the Sheriff’s Office. The call was received at 5:23 a.m., and deputies located the stolen vehicle on Manchaca Road before 7 a.m.

Deputies pursued the truck and called Austin police to assist. At 7:08 a.m. Zurovetz crashed the vehicle in the 3600 block of Sawmill Drive and took off on foot through the residential area with the officers in pursuit.

Zurovetz allegedly broke into another home in the 3700 block of Aspen Creek Parkway. When officers approached the residence, Zurovetz drove a car out of the garage, aiming it at police officers. Two officers, one a sheriff’s deputy and the other an Austin policeman, fired their weapons at the vehicle, wounding Zurovetz in the hand and arm.

“They were in fear for their lives,” said Sheriff’s Capt. Wes Priddy, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office.

At 7:36 a.m., Zurovetz crashed the second stolen vehicle in the 10100 block of Brodie Lane. Zurovetz ran to a nearby home in the Oak Parke subdivision on Brodie just south of Slaughter Lane, where he forced his way in while the residents fled.

“Our initial fear was that he would hold the residents hostage,” said Capt. Priddy.

Zurvetz barricaded himself in the home and began a three-hour standoff with police. Brodie Lane traffic was blocked, and nearby Bowie High School was placed in “lockdown” mode, meaning classroom doors were locked and no one was allowed to enter or leave the school.

Police secured the area until Zurovetz surrendered to an Austin police SWAT team at about 10:15 a.m. Zurovetz was taken to Brackenridge Hospital and treated for his bullet wounds to his arm and hand. He is being held on outstanding felony warrants for parole violation and evading arrest. Additional charges related to Monday’s crime spree are expected to be filed.

Capt. Priddy said officers are looking into reports from neighborhood residents that a second burglar was involved, but have not confirmed it.

The Oak Hill resident who identified the second burglar sent an e-mail to his neighborhood association so that his neighbors could be on the lookout.

The outstanding warrants against Zurovetz stem from a run-in with police in July 2010, when he allegedly slipped his handcuffs, kicked out the window of a police cruiser, and escaped into the greenbelt along MoPac Boulevard.

Zurovetz, who had been arrested for burglary of a vehicle, was captured six hours later after a manhunt involving sheriff’s deputies, police from Austin, Sunset Valley and West Lake Hills, and canine and helicopter units.



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