East Side leaders helping Coliseum Oaks area after spike in crime

Burglaries and shootings scaring neighbors, leading them to ask for help

SAN ANTONIO – In the last month crime has skyrocketed in one specific East Side neighborhood and community members have had enough. People who live in the Coliseum Oaks area are banding together with other community leaders to take their neighborhood back.

Neighbors in that area have one thing in common: They're afraid to be in their own home.

One woman talked to KSAT, but was scared to be identified or shown on camera. She has lived in the Coliseum Oaks neighborhood for 20 years, and said things just recently got bad in the past few years, and worse in the past few months.

"It's very scary," she said.

Her home has been broken into twice. The latest break-in was on Monday.

"They went through the back window and they took all our electronics. Everything like all my kids’ game systems and our TVs," she said.

She lost $5,000 worth of electronics.

"That's money that I worked hard for," she said.

Other people who live in the neighborhood said there have been almost 10 burglaries and two shootings in just the last month. One of those shootings was Monday on Fargo Street when 50 shots were fired at a car, and the man inside was hit.

"Yes I have been considering leaving," the woman said. "I'm at work all day. I have a son that's at home sometimes and I fear that one day he'll be there when they try breaking in, or who knows what else."

She joined dozens of other frustrated neighbors at a meeting Friday night led by a several leaders of Eastside neighborhood associations. They offered advice to the Coliseum Oaks neighborhood, based on personal experience with crime.

"Know your neighbors. When you're neighbor's going out of town, let each other know. Watch out for each other," said Rose Hill, president of the Government Hill Neighborhood Association. 

She urged Coliseum Oaks residents to pay more attention, to write down what they see and report it immediately. As for safety requests, like extra patrols and street lighting Hill and other leaders explained how best to express concern to their SAFFE officers and city councilman.

"We as the neighborhood associations are coming together to support you," Hill said.

They hope a joint effort will create the change they so desperately need.

"I just want it to go back to the way it was when I moved into this little neighborhood," the woman said. 

A representative from District 2 Councilman Alan Warrick's office was at the meeting Friday and explained there will be additional patrol added to the area, but that they may not be foot patrol. He said several police initiatives happening on the East Side are pilot programs and are being tested out to see if they help deter crime. If they work well, they'll be moved to other areas.

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