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Mom-and-pop shops targeted in string of break-ins on South Side

Norma Gomez, owner of La Presa Café near I-10 and I-37, said she arrived at work Monday morning to find the glass door shattered.

SAN ANTONIO – Police are investigating a string of break-ins targeting mom-and-pop shops on the South Side.

Norma Gomez, owner of La Presa Café near I-10 and I-37, said she arrived at work Monday morning to find the glass door shattered. A crook had taken an empty cash register, a ladder, a power drill and 20 pounds of meat.

“I get a lot of compliments about the barbacoa, so I understand why they’d take the meat first,” she said.

Norma estimated the damage at $600.

However, she’s still dealing with another burglary that happened Aug. 4. She suspects in that case, a former employee trashed the place, stole electronics and destroyed signs, costing her thousands of dollars.

Her new signs are handmade but not as eye-catching at a time when every customer counts.

“We’re trying to just keep the lights on, so for us, that means paychecks get a day late or maybe bills get past due. Now we’re paying late fees.”

Norma’s neighbors are also taking a hit. Two doors down, burglar bars only slowed a thief Thursday at Fruteria Los Trejos on South Presa Street. An SAPD report shows $300 in quarters went missing.

“Two weeks before that, another place on St. Mary’s, an ice cream shop next to the high school got broken into,” Norma said.

La Presa Café replaced the glass and plans to beef up security with better locks, a reinforced door and more security cameras once the funds are available. Norma is accepting donations through GoFundMe.

“We’ll do anything to stay open,” Norma said. “We’re struggling, but we can’t afford to stay closed.”

The restaurant serves breakfast tacos, street tacos and other food at 2620 South Presa Street in San Antonio.

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