SAN ANTONIO - In the weeks leading up to Halloween, more people are starting to put lawn decorations outside to help celebrate the holidays, but residents in Stone Oak said several of their decorations have been stolen right from their yards.
Katherine Barnes lent her neighbor an inflatable cat that was stolen from his yard a few days ago.
"I've turned into a grandmother vigilante. I'm going to sit outside, I have cameras watching the entire front row of my house now because I don't feel safe. I'm not going to put up decorations unless I'm sitting out there with my dog and whatever I need for protection," she said.
Another Stone Oak resident had a pot and a wreath stolen from her home on two separate occasions.
"Out of 16 years plus we've been in the military, we've moved around everywhere and never had something like this done," she said.
Thanks to the Next Door app, residents in Stone Oak have been able to talk to their neighbors about the crime and said they're shocked to see how widespread it is in their area.
Many feel that SAPD isn't dedicating enough resources to their part of the city and they feel neglected.
"They have to prioritize and they should prioritize to the more violent crimes absolutely, but that does not negate the fact that they are undermanned, understaffed and they can't service the other population who still pays taxes and lives and brings dollars into the community," Glenn Barnes, a Stone Oak resident said.
SAPD said according to statistics, there hasn't been a spike in crime in the Stone Oak area and they have no reason to believe that the lawn ornament thefts are part of any sort of organized ring.
"Some of these are the results of someone just playing a prank, some of these are actually people stealing these and selling them online and some people are just stealing them and keeping them for themselves," Officer Doug Greene from SAPD said.
SAPD said they have enough officers in the Stone Oak area. They don't want anyone in the community to feel neglected. They also want residents to get involved in the Citizens on Patrol program where SAPD trains citizens on how to patrol their neighborhoods.
For more information on that program, you can visit http://www.sanantonio.gov/SAPD/Citizen-Participation-Programs.
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(© 2017 KENS)