SAN ANTONIO – As the U-Haul truck pulled up and the rent sign came down, nearby residents in the Loma Vista subdivision thought they were getting some new neighbors.
Instead, they got thieves.
In broad daylight, burglars hauled out $4,000 in appliances from a northeast-side home. In the last month, at least five San Antonio homes have been robbed by men posing as movers.
The stolen stoves, refrigerators, dishwashers, washers and dryers have property management companies rethinking security.
“What I think is they may be targeting stainless steel appliances,” said Kristopher Hochart with Red Wagon Realty. As a broker for real estate, he has seen two properties struck by a trio of men who act like they are working for a potential renter.
Meantime, Brad Larsen is upgrading his lock-boxes on the homes he’s managing. His properties were hit Memorial Day. The criminals were even brazen enough to ask neighbors to move their vehicles to allow the moving truck to back into the driveway of the victim’s home.
Larsen said, “People even asked questions: ‘Hey, what are you doing here?’ And they’d say, ‘Yeah, we’re here to move in or get the property ready for rent.’”
Police are wondering if the cases are related, as similar crimes have been reported on the west, northwest and northeast sides of town.
San Antonio police officer Matt Porter said, “If you see somebody outside the house and there is not a realtor with them, that could be a red flag.”
Oftentimes, the crime goes unnoticed until another renter moves in… only to find the built-in appliances missing.
Police are looking for three black male suspects. One is reportedly heavy-set. They appear to be using a U-Haul moving truck in the burglaries.
If you have any information, you are asked to call SAPD Property Crimes Unit.