Greensboro police working to prevent car break-ins at parks across city

Piedmont Triad News

GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — It’s summertime, and those trips to the parks and walking trails could cost people a lot of time and money if they don’t take precautions.

Greensboro police told FOX8 people have been breaking into locked cars and stealing valuables.

There have been three break-ins in the parking lots of city parks in the past week.

When parking lots at Greensboro are full, like they are most of the summer, there can be a false sense of security.

“[Thieves would] have to be pretty sure of themselves to get out there and break in in broad daylight,” said Tim George, who was walking at Bur-Mill Park.

“My dad thinks it’s crazy because in North Carolina, we don’t lock our cars often,” laughed Niurka Fernandez.

FOX8 also spotted a woman who told crews she didn’t hide her belongings at all.

“I just lock it. That’s it,” said Maria Garcia.

Greensboro police said since June 8, people have broken into locked cars at the Military Park, Lake Brandt and Bur-Mill Park without causing any damage.

“There’s the old-fashioned Slim Jims, and there are a couple of devices that have been talked about where [thieves] can digitally get in,” said Larry Roberts, a community resource officer with the Greensboro Police Department.

Roberts told FOX8 that what makes people the biggest target is leaving their belongings in plain view.

“People are in a rush or they’re out here trying to get exercise, and they don’t want to carry things around with them,” he added.

“I think locking it is good to do obviously, but I don’t think it’s going to prevent someone if they really want to get in,” said Barbara Farrell, who was out walking with a friend.

For the most part, people who spoke to FOX8 on Wednesday were already taking precautions.

“What I don’t take, I hide,” George said.

“Whenever I come, I make sure my wallet is put away. I make sure I have my keys with me and my cell phone,” explained Danielle Fitzgerald, who was out at Bur-Mill Park. “I close the door, and I lock it and everything is out of sight. It’s the best practice.”

Even so, some people told FOX8 they would feel better with an extra pair of eyes keeping watch.

“I’d feel better knowing what I know right now if there was some kind of security guard that could make a swing through every now and then,” said Katy Torney. “The security guy would know what to look for, and I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t even think about it with people around.”

As of right now, Greensboro police do not plan on adding extra patrols to any of the city parks.

There will be installations of signs at every park with reminders to hide valuables and lock doors.

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