SAN ANTONIO – In an unprecedented move, the small city of Olmos Park invited San Antonio Police Chief William McManus to talk with residents about crime prevention.
The meeting was spurred by an alarming uptick in home burglaries happening in broad daylight.
Chief McManus often speaks with neighborhood groups, but the city of Olmos Park is not in his jurisdiction.
Still, his message remained the same: be vigilant, because no one is immune to property crimes.
Most people at the packed meeting couldn’t remember the last time a San Antonio Police Chief spoke at Olmos Park City Hall.
“No, and I’ve been here since 1955,” longtime resident Candy Gardner said.
Chief McManus says he was invited by Olmos Park’s mayor to talk about rising crime.
“I’m not sure what I can do about it or how I can help but I came to listen,” Chief McManus said.
Homeowner after homeowner asked the same question.
“How we can be safe in our homes and how we can have safety in our community,” Gardner asked.
In recent weeks, several homes on one street were burglarized. One resident told News 4 WOAI off camera that the next day, every home on the block had an alarm company track outside.
Olmos Park Police stepped up patrols and officers are keeping close eyes on the construction crews.
“It would be very easy for somebody to blend in with all the activity that’s going on,” Olmos Park Police Chief Fritz Bohne said.
Chief Bohne said during one patrol, and officer counted 40 construction vehicles in the neighborhood. He says the extra traffic makes it hard to catch criminals in the act.
“Anecdotally, I’m told that some officials in the city think it’s homeless [people] coming from San Antonio,” Chief McManus said.
Both departments pledged to work to solve the problem and communicate about crime.
“[It’s] just an invasion of people’s privacy,” Garner said. “The lack of security we feel in our neighborhood.”
Neighbors hope being proactive will send a message to crooks: stay away.
Both Chief McManus and Chief Bohne gave the community crime prevention tips for both the daytime and nighttime.