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East Side apartments raided for crime, code violations

Police, neighbors say apartment complex was a known crime hub

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SAN ANTONIO – An East Side apartment complex notorious for crime has been raided.

The property is the same complex where a man was killed in May.

Ahmed Lokhandwala owns a convenience store a block away from a small apartment complex on East Houston Street and Gevers Street.

"A lot of criminal activity goes on. Lately, we've heard of so many shootings," Lokhandwala said.

When he heard the city raided the complex Wednesday, he felt relieved.

"It's going to take some crime out of the area. It's going to help everybody overall, because there are some decent citizens living here," Lokhandwala said.

"When the property owner refuses to clean up their problems, we have to step in and intervene," said San Antonio Police Department Sgt. Jesse Salame.

The city's Dangerous Assessment Response Team raided the 10-unit apartment complex Wednesday morning. DART is comprised of police, code compliance officers, animal service workers and human service workers.

Police said the complex has become a crime hub. Just a month and a half ago, a man was found shot to death outside one of the apartments.

Since Jan. 1, police reported having about 200 calls just to that apartment complex. KSAT 12 tracked a range of crimes within a mile radius of that property and found more than 700 in the same time frame.

"That ranges from assaults to disturbances to narcotics to prostitution," Salame said.

Police had been tracking the property for a long time.

"It takes months and months to build up a case, and you give people opportunities to clean up after themselves, to correct their problems, to be nice neighbors. When those methods fail, this is the alternative," Salame said.

During the raid, police arrested several people for warrants. 

"That place should not be renting out apartments in that condition," Salame said.

Investigators found extreme code violations, including electrical hazards, no hot water, rat and insect infestations. Plus, many of the apartments were too small to legally be rented out.

"In the end, it's going to be for the better. I'm hoping for the best," Lokhandwala said.

 


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