Jan 21, 2014 6:30 PM by Nathan O'Neal

Thefts, vehicle break-ins plague west side hiking trail heads

TUCSON - With peak tourism season just around the corner for Southern Arizona, both locals and visitors can't resist going for a hike. Two west side trail heads, specifically the parking lots, have become problem areas with several reports of vehicle break-ins.

Pima County is now teaming up with law enforcement to try and crack down on crime in the area.

The trail heads at 36th Street and Genser, the parking lots are plagued with reports of break-ins and thefts. At the Genser parking lot there is still physical signs of trouble with broken glass from a car window scattered across the pavement.

"As a matter of fact... my wife just had her purse stolen out of it," said one hiker at the Genser parking lot.

The stories of vehicle break-ins go on and on. David Tang had his car stolen from the Genser parking lot a couple months ago.

"Came out here for a quick mountain bike ride after work on a Saturday - trying to beat sunset - about 4pm we came out, about 5:30pm we got back and there was no car," Tang told News 4 Tucson. His vehicle was found days later in town gutted.

David's is a cautionary tale - but one that Pima County officials would rather not have to tell.

"Unfortunately our parks are just like the rest of town, sometimes we get vandalism, theft... other things occurring," said Kerry Baldwin with Pima County Parks & Rec.

The county is continually working with law enforcement agencies to curb crime in the area.

"Some of the trail heads get increased patrols by the deputies or by the police officers. In some cases we actually have the ability to put in video cameras," Baldwin said.

Baldwin said that a big part of keeping criminal activity out of county parks is the community's help. If you see anything you might view as suspicious, don't hesitate to call 9-1-1.


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