San Antonio is continuing to focus its revitalization efforts on the downtown area. But thieves are concentrating their efforts on targeting downtown businesses. Tonight, we’re learning more about why certain locations are more of a target than others and what owners are doing to keep these thieves away.
The Junior League of San Antonio (JLSA) is a non-profit organization that has worked out of this historic home on Brooklyn Street for more than 80 years.
"All the income that comes in to a non-profit organization is supposed to go back out, whether it's through programs or services, into the community, helping people help themselves,” Lupita Castrejon-Tijerina, Managing Director of JLSA.
But it's hard to give back to the community when you're having to deal with copper thieves. The Junior League office has been hit three times, costing them between $15-20,000. Less than a block away, we also confirmed, a doctor's office has had to replace their copper pipes four times in the last year.
"If you look at our structure, it is an original house, a historical house, and so we have maintained its integrity,” Castrejon-Tijerina explained. “But at night these homes, these houses that were once homes to families, are now repurposed for offices and at night they become isolated."
Unlike more modern homes, these historic offices have a crawl space underneath them that’s easy to get to. To keep the bad guys out Castrejon-Tijerina brought in a wrought iron specialist to secure their copper pipes.
Just a few days ago police arrested a man at the Rodeway Inn downtown, just a few blocks from the Junior League offices. They believe he was trying to steal copper off AC units. Lupita is hopeful he's the man who's been hitting up all the downtown businesses.
"The gut feeling is yes. I hope that is the person and those are the people who've taken it because that means this won't happen,” she said. “But I think I'm more hopeful at the fact that they are facing felony charges."