SAN ANTONIO – It's a crime police say has been rampant, and Tuesday, it happened to one of KSAT's own. A criminal targeted a Medical Center apartment complex overnight, breaking into cars and stealing one.
That stolen car belonged to a KSAT photojournalist who said he’s learned a few valuable lessons from the incident.
It was Lee Carpio's day off from shooting video for KSAT, but it wasn't a very relaxing weekend.
"When I spoke to my neighbor, they mentioned last night they got hit and a few vehicles were broken into in the back," he said.
It happened at the Riverstone Apartments in the 8700 block of Cinnamon Creek Drive. A Prius had the hatchback broken into, a Jeep with a ragtop had the plastic windows sliced and William Kindred's truck had the back window punched out.
"Come to find out all my stuff is strewn everywhere, my window is busted in, my door was jimmied like they were trying to get in," Kindred said.
Carpio had a much bigger problem.
"It dawned on me, at that moment, that I had a few important items, like, a spare key for my car in the back. That's when I figured out that my car was gone and I filed a police report immediately," he said.
He admitted through frustration that he had little hope his car would be returned in one piece.
"If it does pop up abandoned somewhere, they'll give me a call. That's all they can do," Carpio said.
Carpio had forgotten about a little device he'd installed in his car when he bought it — an anti-theft tracking device.
Less than three hours later, at the Walmart parking lot off Jones Maltsberger Road, Carpio’s car was found.
"I'm relieved. My gosh," Lee said at the crime scene, with a giant smile on his face.
The Auto Theft Task Force, which was formed from multiple local law enforcement agencies, was able to track the car through the anti-theft device and caught the thief red-handed.
"Wow, they changed the plates really quick," Carpio said while looking at a different license plate on the back of his car with his holder cast to the ground. "I am very grateful for the San Antonio Police Department."
After a combination of efficient technology, law enforcement teamwork and maybe some lucky rosary beads that the thief happened to leave behind, Carpio knows one thing: He'll be making some changes in the future.
He said he’s learned that even if it's convenient in case of an emergency, don't keep a spare key anywhere near the car.
"It’s really not even enough to just keep things out of sight for thieves. Keep your valuables very close to you," Caprio said.
Police say to always lock your doors and it may be a smart idea to invest in an anti-theft tracking device.
For more information on ways to deter burglars, visit the Auto Burglary and Theft Prevention Authority’s website.
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