(Shelby County, TN) An increase of car burglaries in the Shelby Farms Park area is blamed on a lot of drivers leaving their cars unlocked, according to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.
A spokesman for the department, Chip Washington, said, “People will leave their cars unlocked, or people will leave valuables in their cars. But what folks need to understand is that criminals are watching you.”
Washington said GPS'es, purses, computers, wallets and cash were stolen.
“When you leave them that type of invitation, it’s like bees to honey,” he said.
Washington said there has been dozens and dozens of car burglaries this year. Neon signs have been put up around the park, telling people to “park smart.”
People visiting the park said it doesn’t make sense.
“I would hate to say that they’re stupid, but I think they’re stupid,” Jim Abraham said. “What’s the difference between putting it on the pavement, or leaving it in an unlocked car?”
With more visitors over Memorial Day weekend, and students out of school for the summer, people understand the necessity of taking extra precautions.
Still, parents visiting the children’s park may sometimes be absent-minded. News Channel 3 found a few unlocked cars in that lot, with valuables in plain sight.
“You have two or three little kids; you’re going to be distracted. So it’s probably good advice over there,” said Suzie Abraham.
Courtney Cannon, a mom who came with her children, said she’s careful to lock her car. But still, “I’ve probably done that in the past too, just not even thinking about it, you know.”
The sheriff’s office just wants people to give it more thought now.
“We know the park is going to be even more crowded now. We’re just trying to caution the public just to do – if you do a few things to help yourself, then everybody will benefit in the end,” Washington said.