AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Austin police say they're focusing on halting an increase in armed robberies as the fast-growing area is experiencing an overall jump in violent crime.

The Austin American-Statesman reports ( ) that while thousands of visitors flocked to the city for the annual South by Southwest festivals in the over the past week, violence has left about a half-dozen people dead. Violent crime rose last year by 10 percent in Austin and the city counted more homicides than it had in years.

The newspaper says through March 13 this year, 187 robberies have been reported, including four banks, 28 businesses and 155 people.

Police officials don't think the situation is out of control and say they want to make certain it doesn't get to that out-of-control point.



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