As we have discussed in other issues of the blog, theft from vehicles is the largest criminal problem rangers deal with at Metro Parks. Occurrences are often cyclic. A criminal, or group of criminals, have some success at a location and continue to hit those locations until they find some place better or get caught. Sometimes we catch them, sometimes it is another agency. Rest assured we work diligently to prevent break-ins, and to catch the suspects if break-ins do occur.
Currently we are seeing an upswing in the number of vehicle break-ins. In the past few weeks we have had break-ins at Sharon Woods, Homestead, Heritage Trail, Battelle Darby Creek, Three Creeks and Highbanks. We are running down leads, working with other agencies and have some suspects in some cases.
Here is what you can do to help:
- Please don’t leave valuables in your car. Parks are often targeted by thieves because they know you don’t want to bring your purse or briefcase on the trail. Thieves generally will not bother with vehicles that have nothing left in plain sight.
- Don’t try to hide your valuables under clothing or sunshades etc. Thieves know we try this, and will break into vehicles they believe have items hidden.
- Don’t think your diaper bag or grocery bag is not attractive to a thief. They don’t know it is a diaper bag and may take the chance that it is a computer backpack. Thieves have left with only diapers, formula and breast milk on more than one occasion. Not a big loss, but you now have a window to repair.
- Don’t put your items in the trunk when you get to the park. Thieves are watching. All it takes is a quick punch of the window, hit the trunk release button and they have your stuff. Instead, put your items in the trunk before you get to the park.
Here is a great video from a former thief talking about how he used to target cars in parks. Please don’t let these thieves keep you from enjoying your Metro Parks. Please take note of the ranger cell phone for the park you are attending. Program it into your phone and report anything suspicious you may see. We are always on duty when the parks are open, but we can’t be everywhere all of the time. Be our eyes and ears while you enjoy your Metro Parks.