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NW Side neighborhood on edge after jogger assaulted

Residents vow to fight rising crime

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SAN ANTONIO – After a woman was attacked while jogging in broad daylight, residents in the Glen Oaks subdivision said Wednesday they're concerns about the rise in crime are growing.

"It's upsetting because I've sort of witnessed a scenario (almost) of that manner," said Jesse Rivera. Rivera said he saw a young woman being harassed by a group of men at a bus stop at the intersection of Merkens Drive and Wurzbach. "When I walked over they left her alone."

The assault has residents in the city's 78240 and 78229 zip codes on edge. Since June 1 the number of 911 calls for burglaries and assaults have increased in both areas each month.

Of the 821 calls in the 78240 zip code area 111 have been for assaults and 142 have been for burglaries. In the 78229 area there have been 1,074 calls - 248 for assaults and 181 for burglary.

The statistics have residents like Rivera wondering what can be done.

"Being that we're not a homeowners association I think a neighborhood watch would be appropriate and it would benefit a lot of seniors that are here," he said.

KSAT Crime Analyst Eddie Gonzales said community programs like a neighborhood watch can be very successful at deterring crime.

"It encompasses the citizens. They become part of the police, they become a team, they become the eyes and the ears as far as information goes," said Gonzales. "When you've got those two working together you can dramatically do things for the neighborhood."

Gonzales said even something as simple as a neighborhood watch sign can keep a criminal at bay.

"You would hope somebody would come by and see that sign and think there could be somebody in this house looking through the blinds," he said. "Anything to create a perception that criminal activity is not going to be tolerated."

But absent of a neighborhood watch Gonzales said Rivera and his neighbors will have to depend on each other.

"Most people who have lived here for a while know who belongs, and doesn't belong. You need to make an effort to talk to each other. They may have heard or seen something you weren't aware of," Gonzales said.