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SAN ANTONIO -- A popular city park has some residents concerned after an increase in vehicle break-ins. However, park visitors and police are looking to fight back.

Lyn Ballinger said she visits the O.P. Schnabel Park, 9606 Bandera, several times a week. She said she does everything she can to avoid becoming a victim.

That doesn't always work for everybody.

I know of about four or five people that have had their cars broken into here, she said.

Police said the problem is that vehicle break-ins are easy and thieves know where to strike. The park, they said, is a common place to find valuables.

Burglars are attracted to places that have many opportunities, and in the park, apparently people leave stuff in the car, SAPD Sgt. Mark Holguin said.

Police invited bikers, joggers and hikers to their northwest substation on Friday night to come up with a plan for residents to better protect themselves.

While the immediate answer might be obvious, the long term solution is not.

If we had stiffer penalties, if we could keep these guys in jail, that would help out because these guys are repeat offenders, Holguin said.

Police said most of the vehicle burglaries are happening between 3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Officers are also urging park users to report anything suspicious since park police can t cover the entire area at all times.

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