Neighborhood starts watch program after string of car burglaries

By Japhanie Gray - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - The Apple Creek neighborhood recently started a neighborhood watch program to crack down on a series of car burglaries in the area.

This year alone, Erica Garcia Castilla, the organizer of the program, said the neighborhood has been hit in at least 10 different areas.

“It was a constant, everyday, every night thing from one in the morning on, where a group of young adolescents try to be opening doors and taking valuable possessions of others,” Castilla said.

Castilla started the watch program earlier this month.

“We would get constant complaints on the Nextdoor app, and I felt like, instead of reading, do something, especially since we have our elders in our community and residents who have been here 20-plus years. I felt like it is our time to help,” Castilla said.

Resident Jamez Tealer said he’s happy the community is working together to raise awareness about the issue.

“We have to make sure that we secure what we have,” Tealer said. “Without that, of course, we just give it over to the thieves, and what good does that do for the neighbors? It pretty much makes me perk the ears and open my eyes a little more.”

Castilla said they are also working closely with San Antonio police to crack down on the crime.

“It has helped us gain some of our safety back, and now we have a lot of us patrolling streets as far as bringing that awareness by sending flyers," she said.

As the community works to take back their quiet neighborhood, they have a message for those responsible for the car thefts.

“You may think that you are getting away with it now, and it may look good to your peers, but in the long run, it is going to catch up to you when it comes down to getting a job or anything," Tealer said. "It is just going to be a real headache in the future.”

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