Combating crime on San Antonio’s north side

Neighborhood groups report an increase in burglaries and theft. Representatives are meeting with SAPD SAFEE officers, and some have hired private security.

SAN ANTONIO — Crime is climbing in San Antonio. Even northside neighborhoods that have historically had low crime rates say they are dealing with more burglaries and theft.

“Most of the stuff in the neighborhood is more property related,” said Kim Pettit, the president of the North Central Thousand Oaks Neighborhood Association. “Though, there is a neighbor two houses down [from me] who was one of the fellows shot at a basketball game at a nearby park.”

Pettit says car break-ins, mail and package thefts are the most common offenses in his neighborhood. 

Last month, about a dozen vehicles and homes were broken into in the Shady Oaks community in a single night.

San Antonio City Council Member John Courage says crime is the number one complaint in District 9.

“Our area here is more affluent than other parts of town and it may be more attractive to property crime,” Courage said.

According to Courage, even gated communities are being targeted. That’s why neighborhood associations meet with SAFEE officers frequently. Some also hire their own security.

On Monday, Colleen Waguespack with Neighborhoods for Organized Development released the following statement:

Within our single-family neighborhoods, we are still mostly seeing property crimes. However, the violent crimes are moving ever closer. It is now not uncommon to hear gunshots. There have been several incidents within blocks of my own home in the past couple of weeks where gunfire was exchanged, resulting in death. It is only a matter of time before citizens who live a low-risk lifestyle are either targeted or killed in the crossfire or as perpetrators flee. We understand that police resources are strained as officers deal with the increased demands for service that’s been brought on by our city’s growth. Courts must do their part to keep perpetrators off the streets so residents throughout San Antonio can feel relatively safe.” 

Pettit believes a sense of community is critical in combating crime.

“Know your neighbors,” said Pettit. “The way to tell if something is unusual is by knowing what is usual. So, if you know your neighbors you should be able to talk to them when something seems out of place, such as a car parked in front of someone’s house that you’ve never seen before.”

Last year, burglaries jumped 25% in San Antonio. Reports of stolen property skyrocketed 214%.

Council Member Courage says he is pushing for more patrol officers citywide to help prevent crime.

“It’s really important for the police presence to be there so people understand that we are out there looking, watching, and trying to protect the city,” said Courage. “But it’s a challenge because it’s a large community and we continue to grow. I believe the growth with our police protection hasn’t kept up with the growth of the population or crime.”

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