SAN ANTONIO – A northwest side neighborhood is on edge and a family could have lost a beloved grandmother – all after a knock on the door.
"They put a handkerchief on her face,” Adelfa Reyna says. “They put a loaded gun to her temple."
Reyna’s mother was the victim of a home invasion Monday afternoon. Two suspected burglars tied up the elderly woman and ransacked her home in broad daylight.
The burglars knocked on the door and told her she had to sign for a package, so she opened the door just a crack.
“That’s when they busted in and tied her up,” Reyna says.
Now, Reyna is warning neighbors about what can happen when you answer the door to strangers.
"My mother, being from the old school, she's 85 years old,” Reyna says. “Very trusting. She opened the door."
News 4 Crime Tracker specialist Gilbert de la Portilla says criminals are counting on that trust.
"Well, maybe I did order something. Maybe I need to sign it,” he says. “And of course, how are you going to sign it if the door's closed?"
He says you might feel safe by opening the door just a crack, but that’s just an illusion.
"Once you've opened the door you've given the criminal the opportunity to come in,” de la Portilla says.
To show us what he means, he knocked on the door and overpowered our News 4 reporter in seconds flat.
"Don't open the door to anybody,” Reyna says. “Look out the window first."
Reyna says other homes on the block have been broken into and is now begging people to check for uniforms and ask questions.
"Who's there? Do you recognize them?” she says.
And if in doubt – don’t put yourself in danger.
"If you don't recognize the person, just don't open the door,” Reyna says. “You don't have to open the door."
So what can you do the next time a stranger knocks? De la Portilla says you don’t have to open the door to answer the door. He recommends keeping the door closed – you’ll still be able to hear the person on the other side.