Residents around West Fort Worth where two teens murdered a mother in her apartment say they've been living in fear because of escalating crime.
Police say the boys murdered stay-at-home mom Yesenia Gutierrez last Friday because they wanted to steal a gaming console. Her toddler son was with her but was not hurt.
Neighbors at the Manitoba apartments say break-ins have been on the rise. Residents at other nearby apartments say they've had very similar escalating crime problems recently. They believe what happened to Gutierrez could've easily happened to them.
For months, residents at The Falls and Oak Village apartments have been dealing with a group of teens breaking into cars and apartments that have been escalating to violence. They don't want their faces shown out of fear.
“I'm done. It escalated to exactly what we thought it would,” one neighbor said. “They're not scared of us. If we approach them, they threaten us, threaten to kill us, burn down our apartments. They know where we live.”
Residents say someone had his gun stolen out of his car last year. Another neighbor was assaulted February 12 when two teens kicked in his door in an attempted burglary. According to police records, police made an arrest in the assault.
The apartments are a little more than a mile away from where Gutierrez was murdered during a similar break-in at the Manitoba apartments.
Homicide detectives worked with the robbery and gang unit to arrest a 13 and a 14-year-old for the Gutierrez's murder. Police records show the suspects broke into her apartment to steal a gaming console they saw through the window. They still shot her even though she complied with their demands.
Police say two youth gangs recently formed in the area and have been committing “invasion-style robberies” along Las Vegas Trail, which isn’t far from where Gutierrez was murdered and where neighbors have been dealing with break-ins.
“I shouldn't be scared to live in my own neighborhood,” another neighbor said. “I shouldn't be scared to walk out the door and take my dogs out.”
Police say they are looking into whether the murder suspects are connected to any other similar crimes in the area, but so far have not linked the crimes.
Apartment managers at The Falls and Oak Village say they have surveillance cameras and have had off-duty officers there every day since they started having break-ins. Neighbors say they're working with police and trying to keep each other informed on Nextdoor.