FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. – For law enforcement, the formula for preventing vehicle break-ins is relatively simple; lock your doors and hide your valuables.
As the temperatures rise, historically, so do break-ins. It's for that reason authorities are encouraging citizens to remember to be extra vigilant.
“If you don’t protect yourself as much as you can, you’re taking a chance," said June Moore, who regularly leaves her vehicle while visiting Tanglewood Park in Clemmons.
At Tanglewood Park, and many others in the Piedmont, you will notice signs warning people to hide, or lock up, their belongings while leaving their vehicles unattended.
“When I was a kid, nobody ever locked anything. You didn’t lock your cars, you’d even leave the keys in it and you felt safe," said Mark Vernon, who frequents the Tanglewood RV Park.
Last Wednesday, the vehicle of missing Clemmons woman, 63-year-old Gayle Fleming, was found at Tanglewood Park after she was reported missing on Sunday.
However, her car was confirmed to have been there a day earlier, by dash camera video captured as a Forsyth County Sheriff's deputy was responding to a vehicle break-in at the park.
Deputies maintain that the park is safe, but continue to encourage park-goers to be aware of their surroundings, and engage in recreational activities in groups, if possible.
“Certainly my wife will change her behavior, she has come out occasionally and walked alone, I don’t think she’s going to do that again," said John Franklin, who visits Tanglewood Park nearly every day.
Authorities say preventing break-ins is usually as easy as taking your keys with you after locking your vehicle, and putting valuables in your glove compartment, or trunk.
“If you don’t protect yourself as much as you can, you’re taking a chance," Moore said.
They are also encouraging increased awareness outside of parks, at areas people are visiting for the first time, and areas where they may be most comfortable; for example, their own neighborhoods.