SAN ANTONIO — People in one west-side neighborhood have been getting hit by a rash of car burglaries in the last few months. Neighbors are now joining together to fight back against the thieves by creating their own high-tech neighborhood watch group.
Anthony Garcia shared a Ring video taken at his home March 8 in the middle of the night. Garcia said the would-be car burglars were deterred when his wife was alerted through the app that there was someone lurking in their driveway.
His wife yelled at the prowler through the Ring microphone, and the burglar ran away. “I'm sure that's what scared them away,” said Garcia. “It is a big deterrent to people that come to do something, they realize that they are being watched."
Garcia said it’s not the first time thieves have prowled the neighborhood. He said he caught a prowler on his Ring video and learned other neighbors also saw the same person roaming the neighborhood breaking into other cars.
“People work hard to have nice things. And it really is disappointing when other people come and basically damage or try and steal it,” he said.
After the rash of break-ins, Garcia said more and more people in the Grissom Trails subdivision have been installing video surveillance systems, hoping to deter the criminals from stealing in their neighborhood.
“We’re a tight-knit community,” said neighbor Richard Delgado, Jr. Delgado said they weren’t used to crime when he first moved there, and said they now share their videos on apps like Ring.com and NextDoor, creating a high-tech neighborhood watch group. “It allows us to share videos not only here within our immediate community but also the surrounding communities." Delgado said the crimes really upset neighbors.
“It really rocked the neighborhood,” he said. “We had to really change our focus and do things a little different to stay ahead of the game versus being reactive.”
But now, these neighbors are sending a message to would-be thieves: neighbors are watching out for each other, and watching out for crime.
“You work very hard for your things, and for somebody to come in and start ransacking through your vehicles, it takes that sense of security,” said Delgado.