COVID-19 stay home orders impacting police agencies in different ways

Overall thefts, residential burglaries and DWI arrests are down.

SAN ANTONIO – Police agencies in and around San Antonio are reporting different types of crime trends that have been noticed since the start of the year and the COVID-19 Stay at Home Order took effect.

Leon Valley Police Chief Joseph Salvaggio said his city is not seeing a high number of domestic assault cases as other agencies have seen, numbers from January to March of 2020.

“Our residents are not getting cabin fever and having those issues at home like we see elsewhere,” he said.

Assaults calls, he said, are down by about 11%. But he said vehicle burglaries are up 21%, criminal mischief is up 50%, while cases of forgery and fraud are up 89%.

“People go into these websites and they’re buying things that they probably would not buy in the past online in a lot of these locations that are not really up to par and they’re getting their identity stolen,” he said.

Crime drops around the world as COVID-19 keeps people inside

In Lytle, police said thieves took advantage of the school closure by breaking into a barn shed to steal more than $20,000 worth of tools and supplies.

Lt. Matthew Dear said it’s a crime of opportunity.

“When you have a location that you know is closed or has, you know, I guess the amount of employees coming in every day. So that facility during a normal school day would have employees showing up early in the morning, sometimes late in the evening,” he said.

The police said there were stolen tools for ground maintenance, a 2002 Ford F-150 white truck with the school’s decal on the side and a utility trailer. Police said the serial numbers for those tools have been reported to the database to be tracked as stolen.

Kirby Police said they have seen a jump in the number of domestic disturbance calls.

Kirby Police (ksat-tv)

San Antonio police reported an increase of 21% in domestic violence calls from January to April 7th compared to the same time the year before.

An online look at the reports taken between March to April 2020 and compared to the same time in 2019 shows an increase in motor vehicle thefts, commercial burglaries, and robberies. But overall thefts, residential burglaries and DWI arrests are down.

Debrief: How the coronavirus pandemic is affecting the criminal justice system in Bexar County, Texas


About the Authors:

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.

Before starting KSAT in 2017, Lee was a photojournalist at KENS 5, where he won a Lone Star Emmy in 2014 for Best Weather Segment. In 2009 and 2010 Lee garnered first-place awards with the Texas Association of Broadcasters for Best Investigative Series in College Station, as well as winning first place for Staff Photojournalism in 2011 at KBTX.