I wrote this post a few months back when all the shootings were taking place in San Antonio malls for my Shopgirl blog. Feeling the topic inappropriate for a retail gossip column I kept it private. With the tragic fatal shooting of a Texas Tech Campus Officer in a city as lax on crime as San Antonio I decided to share these private thoughts of mine here.
Crime is the Problem
It has seemed recently that San Antonio has caught the spotlight for several violent crimes since the turning of 2017. This is not a new terrifying trend though, instead, sadly, it has been an ongoing terrifying trend though not done as often in public places as area malls. I myself have been robbed at least 8 different times while living in 4 different Texas cities over the past decade. When working in a mall I watched injustices committed to several of my guests, much like the woman who had 7,000 dollars stolen straight off my check out counter. I used to lock my doors, but they just destroyed my windows. I used to take notes and report the details, and now I know that those never really mattered, because the police all had the same response, “kiss your stuff goodbye there’s nothing to be done about it.”
In March 2013 San Antonio ranked from my absolute favorite place on Earth to my most avoided when my car was broken into while valet parked at a Hilton Hotel. The hotel tried to hide it from us, and the insurance company kept pushing the issue on the Hilton, and they pushed it back in turn. The core of the problem though was that it happened in the first place. We called the police, they told us it could take a while to get an officer to the scene, all while I was standing across the narrow street beside the Alamo watching four city cop cars (not Alamo police) that were being utilized by their owners for loitering purposes only.
Finally after an hour of waiting Mr. R called the police once more, “we need to head out of town today.” So the dispatcher recommended we just text them pics of the scene and go along our away because it was unlikely anyone would attend to us anytime soon. Even if there is nothing you can do, I’d hope to receive the decency of a little sympathy and kindness, please do not instead laugh at my (now ex) husband whilst referring to him as a bullet sponge. At 21 I wanted to be heard, but I didn’t know where to turn with this problem. When it happened in San Antonio at 27, I had grown too comfortable with the lack of engagement against crime to do anything about it.
What’s to be done about it?
Criminals are onto us, they know we are powerless and the cops are careless. And they know we don’t care because we’ve aptly demonstrated that we don’t. They know they can get away with a jewelry heist in a public mall because the police just don’t seem to to be receiving the proper training or resources to pursue them.
Some examples of steps towards change can be found in the community of Franklin, TN who ban together with their police force against theft in their mall. There needs to be less a reactionary stance and more of a proactive game plan. The officers of San Antonio need to sporadically choose days/weeks/months/holidays to work overtime to clean up crime.
I know I’m not alone in the observations of the ongoing issue of ignored crimes. A woman loading her trunk outside of Neiman Marcus of the La Cantera shopping center in San Antonio was held up at gun point. When she updated her FB with her story she received at least 20 DM’s from other individuals that said they had experienced the exact same thing at the exact same shopping center.
The crime doesn’t stop at petty theft, or high cost heists, but focusing on stopping it is the start to a safer tomorrow, where samaritans are not gunned down during a Sunday outing to get their ring cleaned.
Further Reading If You are Interested in True Crime Tales: