Thieves break into half-dozen cars on NE Side, leave behind handgun

Police arrest 1 man nearby with help from victim


SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio police have arrested one man and are searching for other people in connection with a series of car break-ins in a Northeast Side neighborhood.

Officers responding to a 911 call shortly before 7 a.m. Monday located one suspect in an alley near Laburnum Drive and Lindenwood Drive.

They had been directed there by a man who lives in the area and noticed from his bedroom window unusual activity around a strange car.

"He said, 'I think I see guys with guns outside the car, and I saw one go towards the back of our alley,'" said Katherine Gainey, recalling the conversation she had with her husband, Matt.

While she called 911, she said her husband grabbed a shotgun when it sounded like someone was trying to enter their home.

Police said as it turned out, someone had gotten into his car, as well of those of about five or six neighbors. Investigators said one of the burglars left a handgun sitting on the passenger seat of one of the cars.

Katie Dillard said she had property, including some of her important work papers, stolen from her Chevy Suburban.

"Unfortunately, I hadn't locked it," she said. “And I had remembered that I had not taken my purse in, and it was gone.”

Within minutes of the 911 call, though, police found someone who they identified as a suspect in a nearby alley. 

They said they also recovered a lot of the stolen property.

Officers, using a K-9 unit, spent some time searching the upscale neighborhood for the other suspects who escaped.

They said they the crimes will act as reminder to people not to make things easy for criminals. Police said people should remember to lock their cars and take their valuables with them.

"I learned a big lesson today," Dillard said.

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