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San Antonio park police, community battling break-ins at area parks and trail heads

Teamwork helping to lower vehicle burglaries

SAN ANTONIO - San Antonio Park Police and city park users are working together to lower the number of vehicle burglaries at parks and trail heads.

Following meetings between park police leaders and people in the running and cycling community, park police reported just four reported vehicle burglaries between Oct. 1 and Nov. 7. The results were shared at a monthly park board meeting Monday evening.

"What we did as far as implementation is increase our patrol, uniform patrol as well as non-uniform patrol," said Captain Raymond Castro of the park police.

"I do know the park police are working hard on it and they're doing sting operations and they definitely have a bigger presence in the parks and trail heads," said Doug Ratliff, a local runner who organizes a running group that routinely meets at city parks.

Of the four break-ins, three were at McAllister Park, and just one happened at a trail head. Ratliff wasn't ready to call the moves a success, hoping to see the progress over a longer term.

"I think over time when we get a chance to look at the data, number of break-ins and analyze that a little bit, I think it'll be able to tell us a little more," said Ratliff.

Castro said while his department has stepped up patrols, the community has played a big role in the decreased crimes.

"Partnership's important," said Castro. "We obviously need community involvement and we encourage that and we look forward to working with them. Overall the main message is the trails are safe and people continue using them, obviously they feel safe and we're going to do our best to prevent crime but we still need everybody's input."

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