Gated communities not immune to crime

Bexar County sheriff urges prevention, awareness

By Jessie Degollado - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - A handful of reports of vehicle break-ins at a gated community in North Bexar County were a troubling reminder for Terry and Monique Gill that criminals don't need pass codes.

"It's daytime to nighttime. It's just an all-day safety issue," Monique Gill said. 

Their gated community, the Preserve at Wortham Oaks, has reported five cases of vehicle burglaries and a stolen vehicle since Friday, according to the Bexar County Sheriff's Office. 

Sheriff Javier Salazar said any gated community is susceptible.

"You don't want to be lulled into a false sense of security by the security gate," Salazar said. 

He said criminals can easily get past the gate by simply following someone who lives there.

"Ninety-nine times out of 100, they're going to get in that way," Salazar said. 

That is, unless they get behind Monique Gill, who said she stops at the gate.

"I'm not going to let them in," Gill said. 

She said she's even told the driver in the vehicle behind her, "I don't know who you are. I don't know who you're going to see. I don't know if you have permission from the person you're going to see." 

Gill and her husband said they understand that many people, such as prospective homebuyers, may have legitimate reasons to enter.

Salazar said it's always best to be cautious, and to be aware of your surroundings and practice basic crime prevention.

"Make sure you're still locking your vehicles. Make sure you're still locking your home," he said. 

With lives and property at stake, Salazar also urges homeowner associations and property management companies to make sure first responders have the latest pass codes or methods of entry. 

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