Park police increasing patrols at Greenway Trails
Break-ins on the rise at the parking lots
SAN ANTONIO - San Antonio's expanding system of Greenway Trails has helped the city get in shape, but they've also created an opportunity for criminals looking for easy targets.
Runner Amanda Botello's car was recently broken into as she jogged along the Leon Creek Greenway located on the Northwest Side. She's just one of several victims in recent months.
"Oh, I was distraught. First of all I didn't know what to do because I didn't even have a phone," Botello said.
San Antonio Park Police Captain Raymond Castro said the majority of the break-ins have happened in the O.P. Schnabel Park parking lot, but other trailheads have also been targeted along the Leon Creek Greenway and the Salado Creek Greenway.
"The trails are safe, the crime that is occurring is in the parking lot," Castro said.
Castro briefed the Linear Creekway Park Advisory Board Tuesday night about efforts to reduce the crime.
"We're increasing our uniform patrol as well as our covert officers are going by there and we're also bringing our officers off the linear creek to the trail head parking lots," Castro said.
The majority of the break-ins have been crimes of opportunity with people leaving valuables out in plain sight. Castro said the best advice is to just leave all valuables at home. If that's not possible, park users should find somewhere in their car that's safe to hide those items while they're gone.
"Don't leave any valuables inside, obviously all that is an opportunity of crime for someone that wants to break into your vehicle," Castro said.
While more officers are patrolling Castro said they could use more help from park users.
"What we're asking is for the public to be our eyes and ears," Castro said. "Report suspicious activity. They're possibly deterring a crime by calling in that activity."
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