Waco PD and Cen-Tex Hispanic Chamber of Commerce helping businesses protect themselves from burglaries

Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 8:42 AM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Ahead of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Cen-Tex Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is addressing safety of Hispanic-owned businesses in the community with the help of Waco PD Thursday.

They are partnering to hold a business safety demonstration to inform business owners of ways not only to protect themselves but their properties. Waco PD will also be offering free safety assessments for those who sign up at the event.

This comes after there were multiple burglaries at Hispanic, family-owned businesses in the area a few months ago.

In late July, KWTX reported that a break-in left Helados La Azteca on Colcord Ave. with about $3,000 in losses after the suspect shattered the window and grabbed the register. Cultura Mia Mexican Cuisine on N. 12th St. also had hundreds of dollars in damages after a man broke the glass door, stealing two bottles of liquor and the cash register.

“Somebody actually entering the building, that’s what really completely threw me off,” owner of Helados La Azteca, Eduardo Garcia told KWTX in late July. “I was unsure how to act...scared, startled, everything in one.”

Waco PD said other small businesses had been hit with burglaries around that time as well.

President and CEO of Cen-Tex Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Andrea Kosar, said, when hearing about these break-ins hurting their Hispanic small business owners, they wanted to do something to help these businesses and help other businesses protect themselves.

“A big part of what our Chamber does is advocate and support local businesses,” Kosar, said. “I feel one of the most important things to recognize right now is that there have been these break ins. So our chamber will be partnering with Waco PD.”

“Many of those businesses were Hispanic-owned businesses, and so it definitely hit us, and it hit home, especially when it happened to be some of our members and our board members and people that we know and love who were affected,” she said. “We wanted to take action.”

The event will be from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at Fire Station 6 on 25th St. in Waco Thursday, Sept. 14. She said they want to meet these businesses where they are mostly located in hopes that this will help them.

Those who attend the event can sign up with Waco PD for a free safety assessment of their business.