SAN ANTONIO – Security gates at three Northwest Side apartment complexes may have been locked up tight, but trouble still found a way inside the properties early Tuesday morning.
Apartment residents found themselves staring at a gun and handing over all they had to a gunman, police said.
Sgt. Michael Oliva, of the San Antonio Police Department, said the robber surprised the victims as they left their apartments in the still-dark early hours.
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"Flashing them with (his) flashlight and getting their attention, or distracting them, and then, of course, robbing them at gunpoint," he said.
The last of the robberies happened around 6 a.m. in the 12400 block of Vance Jackson Road, where the gunman took items from a woman's purse, Oliva said.
"It looks like they're also missing car keys, but the car is still here," Oliva said. "So they didn't get to the car."
Oliva said in another case, also on Vance Jackson Road near UTSA Boulevard, the same robber also tried to take a man's car but was unsuccessful.
The third robbery happened on UTSA Boulevard closer to the University of Texas San Antonio campus.
At some point in at least two of the cases, both the victims and officers who responded to their calls reported hearing gunshots nearby.
No one was hurt.
However, the victims' nerves were rattled and their sense of security was shattered.
All three apartment complexes had security gates, an extra safety measure designed to make residents feel more at ease.
Somehow, the robber still found his way onto the properties to pull off his crime spree.
He also found a way out, even though police did everything they could to track him down.
Police set up blockades on the ground after each robbery and flew their helicopter overhead, but the robber got away.
The robber is described as a thin man who is about 5 feet, 3 inches tall and was wearing all-black clothing and a mask.