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Undercover BCSO unit helping to curb property crimes

Sheriff's Habitual Offender Team focuses on career criminals

SAN ANTONIO – The Bexar County Sheriff's Habitual Offender Team or SHOT is a covert unit unknown to most.

It's been around for years, and focuses on property crimes and targets career criminals.

"The concept of SHOT is proactive policing. The traditional property crime detectives wait for someone to hand them a case. These detectives don't have caseloads. Everything they do is self-generated. They go out and make something happen," said Lt. Darrell Sanders with the Bexar County Sheriff's Office.

Thursday, they arrested 37-year-old Mark Baylor, a convicted felon who attempted to sell military-grade body armor through social media.

"We know in Texas that possession of body armor by a convicted felon is illegal," Sanders said.

Undercover detectives said they met with Baylor on the city's South Side and negotiated the sale of the bulletproof vest, then arrested him.

He has been charged with possession of metal body armor by a felon.

"We go after not just the thief who steals it, but the middleman who puts it up for sale (and) the buyer that buys stolen property," said Sanders.

Sanders said property crimes have dropped in Bexar County and it's because of the SHOT unit.

"Just last year, (they had) 412 cases, they arrested 116 people, recovered a quarter of a million (dollars) in stolen property and disrupted 14 criminal organizations," Sanders said.