SAN ANTONIO - Several H-E-B stores are taking a big step to improve safety and security by placing K9 security teams at locations across San Antonio.
Esperanza Littwitz said she shops at the Lincoln Heights H-E-B and lives in that area. She said she doesn't mind Fak, the K9 assigned to this store, one bit.
"There have been a lot of problems and issues in the parking lots, even with police patrol," said Littwitz. "There have been break-ins, and it's a concern."
Littwitz is not the only one concerned. Bobby Contreras said he usually does the shopping at his house.
"My wife doesn't feel comfortable coming by herself," he said. "A presence of a K9 unit would make my wife feel a little more comfortable."
The store is partnering with Seal Security, a company based in Houston, to bring K9 units to seven H-E-B's across the city.
Julie Bedingfield with H-E-B public affairs said the response from customers has been positive.
"I think H-E-B's goal is to provide a safe experience, and I think our customers realize that," said Bedingfield.
The patrol officer and K9 are on duty to stop the crime before it happens, but they also search the parking lots for any broken windows, signs of forced entries, or anyone trying to commit any crime.
Bedingfield said the K9s are meant to be visual crime deterrents, and she said the use of these dogs are not in response to a particular uptick in crime.
"It's just something new that we saw. It's not a reactive measure at all. It's a proactive measure," she said.