A Beacon Hill business owner claimed a small victory Wednesday in his fight to stamp out vandalism and graffiti in the neighborhood.
San Antonio police arrested 18-year-old Joshua Garza for allegedly stealing a fire extinguisher from John Karlis' Beacon Hill business.
The property crime occurred last month at the business located in the 1200 block of West Elsmere Place.
"I'm thrilled," Karlis said reacting to the arrest. "I think we're finally seeing the police department pay attention and realize that in the spirit of community policing that's really what we want."
Fed up with crime in the neighborhood, Karlis installed video surveillance cameras around his business that police said captured Garza and two other suspects lurking around the building last month.
Garza is clearly seen taking the fire extinguisher from a truck in the video.
The next morning, Karlis said there was also new graffiti which he believes was left behind by Garza and his friends and was very similar to other tagging throughout the area.
The fire extinguisher theft certainly wasn't the crime of the century, just a symptom of the problems the neighborhood has been dealing with.
"It belies the underlying problem of the graffiti, the vandalism," Karlis said. "The point was, as a business community and more generally as a neighborhood association, we're tired of the vandalism."
An active member of the Beacon Hill Neighborhood Association, Karlis worked closely with police to identify Garza which led to his arrest Wednesday morning.
Karlis is hopeful Garza's arrest will send a message to the residents of Beacon Hill that they don't have to tolerate this kind of petty crime anymore.
"We can put our foot down. We can send the message loud and clear, as this does to the rest of that crew, that we're watching," Karlis said. "We can stand up, we don't have to be afraid of this and we don't have to put up with it."
The other two suspects captured on the surveillance video haven't been identified yet and the tagging continues, but Karlis believes the neighborhood can take back its streets.
"It's more of sending a message that we as a neighborhood are tired of it," Karlis said. "We're not willing to put up with it any longer and we're willing to put out the effort to nip it in its bud."
Garza was charged with theft and his bond was set at $800.