SCHERTZ, TX – “Most neighbors actually knock on the front door to go borrow something,” Schertz homeowner Jesse Enriquez said.
He spotted thieves inside a neighbor’s garage last week, and what he did next helped police get the stolen items back.
Police told News 4 WOAI we can all learn from what Enriquez did in a scary situation.
The crooks were targeting houses where the garage doors were left open – the perfect crime of opportunity, officers said.
What the thieves never counted on, though: the perfect witness.
In a neighborhood where everyone knows everyone, all it took was one person – Enriquez – spotting one car out of place.
"Right in the middle of the street and I'm like, why is someone going to block the street?” Enriquez says. “And that's when I noticed two doors popping open and two guys running into the driveway.”
Next, he said, the crooks stole his neighbor’s lawn equipment.
“I said oh no, not in my neighborhood,” Enriquez said.
So he grabbed his keys, wallet and phone and hopped into his truck.
"I was determined,” Enriquez said.
He drove slowly so the thieves wouldn’t notice and followed them out of the neighborhood and onto I-35 – the whole time, on the phone with 911.
"Description of the car, how fast they were going, where the next destination was going to be,” Enriquez said he told police.
And once Schertz Police caught up to the car, he let the professionals do their jobs.
"Sometimes people want to help and all we do is get in the way,” Enriquez said.
He didn’t try to be Superman, officers said – just a helpful witness.
"A lot of our crime, we can't solve without the citizens' help,” Detective Ernest Spradling with Schertz Police said. “They're our eyes and ears out on the street when we're out answering other calls."
And that’s why the detective gave us a picture of the crooks running away.
"The individuals then jumped the center median and ran across four lanes of traffic, narrowly missing getting hit,” Detective Spradling said.
Police hope another helpful witness comes forward with their identities, and so does Enriquez.
"Just because you have something in the garage doesn't mean you can afford to buy another one,” he said.
Police did find all the stolen items in the getaway car, proving a neighbor can help other neighbors fight crime.
If you can help Schertz Police find the crooks, call detectives at (210) 619-1200.
And something we can all do to make it harder for thieves, officers say: keep our garage doors closed.