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Monte Vista considers private security patrol

Monte Vista considers private security patrol

SAN ANTONIO – One of the city’s most historic neighborhoods is taking a stand against crime.

Homeowners in Monte Vista will consider hiring a private security company to keep an eye on homes.

With its tree-lined streets of historic homes, Jane Holland loves her neighborhood.

“It’s beautiful,” the homeowner says. “I love the proximity to downtown.”

Like a lot of neighborhoods near downtown, Monte Vista has experienced an uptick in petty crime.

"We have been a victim of it,” Holland says. “We've had things stolen off of our front doorstep. You work hard to beautify your home and it's discouraging when someone comes and violates that."

She’s not alone. Police records show around Monte Vista, 44 cars and 26 homes were broken into last year.

"And this street was in the middle of it,” says homeowner Linda Polhamus.

She lives on one of three streets - Elsmere, Lynwood and Hollywood - that could be part of a pilot program to fight crime.

It would take 60 homeowners signing up for the trial to begin. A private company would then send an armed security guard to keep watch. It would cost subscribers $30 a month.

"I've got to think about it,” Polhamus says.

From what she’s seen, the problems have been crimes of opportunity.

"The guy across the street had his car broken into,” Polhamus says. “I said, ‘Oh that's terrible. Did you lock it?’ He says, ‘I usually lock it.’ And his wife is standing there saying, ‘No, he doesn't.’”

But some neighbors say it’s worth a shot.

"I'm a fan of that. I would definitely invest in that,” Holland says.

She hopes the pilot program moves forward because it would give her peace of mind.

"I think if people committing the crime know that somebody other than homeowners are watching, it will influence them,” Holland says.

Homeowners can learn more at a neighborhood meeting Tuesday night at 6 p.m. at Laurel Heights United Methodist Church.

By EMILY BAUCUM

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