Brownsville Neighborhood Feels Their Community is Unsafe

Posted: Nov 24, 2014 7:49 PM
Updated: Nov 24, 2014 8:41 PM

BROWNSVILLE - People living in a Brownsville neighborhood are on edge. They said burglars have made their community unsafe.

Nora Vasquez opened an antique store near Palm Boulevard and Saint Francis almost two years ago. Her small shop is filled with unique, one-of-a-kind pieces from all over the world.

Vasquez said, "Anything that has to do with religion or culture, labors of love from around the world and anything that's been handcrafted."

She arrived at her store over the weekend to find it had been burglarized and vandalized.

The thieves kicked out the air conditioning unit and entered the store. She said they left with bags full of collectibles.

Vasquez said, "Even though the police and other individuals have told me this is the highest criminal area, I had never experienced it firsthand."

Detective J.J. Trevino with Brownsville Police said, "I think that when it happens to them is when they think it's an issue. If it doesn't happen to them, then it's not a problem. For us, if it happens one time, that's one time too many."

He said crime is the same in all areas of town and thieves are now using windows to get in.

Ernesto Hernandez has a barber shop near the antique store. Thieves broke windows to get into his business. His windows are now covered with plywood.

"I kind of liked to see the parking lot. The customers want to see their cars, more security. You have to do it, you know? If not, they're going to try it again and again," said Hernandez.

Some homes in the area have plywood covering the windows. Homeowners said they cover the windows to keep burglars out.

One homeowner had two bicycles, a saw and other tools stolen from his home.

Trevino said police are keeping an eye on crime in this neighborhood, but people in the area need to speak up.

"If you feel that there's a problem, that there are more incidents or you have heard of more incidents, you can let us know and will place a patrol by."

Trevino said people should do what it takes to keep their neighborhood safe.

Vasquez said she will add an alarm system to her store and work with others in her neighborhood to bring an end to the threat of burglars.