Merchants concerned about safety after East Side business break-ins

Criminals cut holes in walls, entered neighboring shops

SAN ANTONIO – What appears to be a series of break-ins on the East Side, involving criminals who cut holes in the walls from one business to another, has merchants taking a closer look at their own security.

“It’s scary,” said Gloria Brown, owner of Global Fitness Center. “I get here at 5:30 in the morning, so it does concern me.”

Brown’s gym is located in a strip mall along South WW White Road, not far from two areas where the intruders have struck recently.

Last Friday, burglars popped out a window pane on the front of Medico, a medical and dental office, then cut a hole in the drywall into City Gear next door.

The same concept came into play Tuesday, according to San Antonio police.

Just a few blocks from Brown, three men broke into a vacant office and then bore into the Ace Cash Express next door. Only this time, the criminals were still inside when a worker arrived.

The worker told police she was unable to give them money from the safe, so they cut her arm with a knife and took off with her purse.

“Last night, I asked my husband, 'What about if that happens, if they get into the Boost Mobile next to me and come in?' And he said, 'No, you have a brick wall,’” Brown said.

Even though it appears the criminals’ current tactic won’t work at her shop, Brown said she’s worried about people in some of the neighboring businesses.

Like many of them, Brown has taken measures to head off any problems. She has a sign in her window letting everyone know she doesn’t have any cash at her gym.

While it seems to be working — no problems with crime so far — she said the recent crime wave has shaken her sense of security.

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