Those living on Galindo Street in southeast Austin say even though police say the bomber is no longer a threat, they are remaining vigilant. Residents tell KXAN some of their neighbors have already bought and installed video cameras in their homes and others have plans to do so in the near future.
“I’ve been saying, the peephole cameras, we should even get something if it’s small like that, we should have something,” said Haidee Delafuente who lives on Galindo Street.
One neighbor who asked to remain anonymous says he only knows of one camera on the street that was able to help law enforcement link the bombings to 23-year-old Mark Conditt.
The owner of the Nest camera says he installed it months before the explosion after someone broke into his shed. He says he was out of the country when the March 12 explosion happened five doors down, but believes the Federal Bureau of Investigation was able to look at the serial number on his camera, get a warrant, and ultimately a video clip from the security camera company which showed an SUV similar to the one Conditt was driving on his street.
“We plan on getting a camera now,” said one neighbor. “For the safety of our home and our neighbors.”
Delafuente lives next door to Esperanza Herrera, the 75-year-old woman injured in the blast.
“She really watched after our house for us, especially when we’re not home… So she’s the one that was always in the door, just watching the neighborhood, what was going on, you know, taking care of the dogs,” Delafuente said. “She’s very caring.”
Delafuente says police showed her pictures of the red SUV, she told investigators she didn’t recognize it as a normal car to be driving in her neighborhood.
“They had a good three or four pages of pictures and it was two pictures per page and it was back and front. So, when we were looking through them we were like, no that SUV lives there, that truck is there. We knew all the vehicles that were in the pictures, it was only that one,” said Delafuente.
Delafuente says she was shown those pictures Thursday, March 15, days before the bomber mailed two more packages through FedEx and well before his string of bombings came to an end.
“When I saw his vehicle I knew it had to be the same car. I was like what are the odds that I saw a vehicle that literally looked exactly like his,” she said.