'Looks like an ordinary house': Neighbors surprised after SAPD raids gambling operation

Police found 30 8-liner machines, cash inside home on Hunter Boulevard

By Katrina Webber - Crime Fighters Reporter, Tim Stewart - Photojournalist

SAN ANTONIO - An alleged illegal gambling operation inside a South Side home appears to have gone unnoticed by many people who live nearby.

"It just looks like an ordinary house. If I had gone through here, I wouldn't have known," said Sylvester Mendiola, who lives in the area.

It was the sight of news crews at the home, located in the 1300 block of Hunter Boulevard, that caused Mendiola to drive by it early Friday morning.

Related: South Side home had gambling machines in almost every room, police say

San Antonio police said they found illegal eight-liner gambling machines inside every room of the home, except the bathrooms, around 1 a.m. Friday while answering a call about a shooting with multiple victims.

Instead of finding shooting victims, officers found about 20 people gambling and about 30 illegal slot machines inside the home. Police also found $2,617 in cash.

Mendiola said he was on his way to work out in a nearby park when he stopped.

"I always use the jogging trail right there, but I never saw nothing around," he said.

San Antonio police might not have noticed either had it not been for a phone call they received around 1:30 a.m.

Police said the anonymous caller told them there had been a shooting at the home with four or five victims.

Related: 100 8-liners confiscated in Southwest Side raid, police say

Officers rushed to the scene and forced their way inside the home.

Detectives said they believe the caller may have been a disgruntled customer, aiming to expose the illegal activity.

"They've been catching them lately," Mendiola said in regard to the bust. "I'm not surprised."

Detectives took possession of one of the machines and removed the motherboards, or inner workings, from the others to use as evidence.

Related: BCSO takes down four illegal 8-liners in south Bexar County

No one was arrested at the scene.

Detectives said they plan to obtain arrest warrants for at least two people whom they have identified as being in charge of the operation.

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