Overton Park Pushing Safety After Isolated Robberies
(Memphis) – Overton Park is known for its walking trails.
There are 126 acres of thick forest.
But the secluded areas were just what three teen robbers were looking for a few weeks ago.
Police say the teens ambushed people walking and golfing alone and stole their wallets and cell phones.
The teens were caught, but Overton was left with a problem, worried visitors.
“You have a lot of trees and foliage back in here where its a lot of shaded areas. You may not run into other people at certain times of the day for miles or many, many feet, which is all it really takes for somebody to get at you,” says Alex Williams, a park visitor.
The Conservancy that manages the park says the robberies were isolated and things are safe.
“We are installing more security cameras. We have a set at Rainbow Lake Playground. We have another set to be installed at East Parkway Playground area. We are working on new restroom installed,” says Tina Sullivan, Executive Director of the Overton Park Conservancy.
Memphis Police say because of how calls come in, it’s hard to get an accurate account of crime in Overton.
But so far this year, within 50 feet of the park, there have been approximately 25 thefts from vehicles, 4 robberies of individuals and 1 aggravated assault.
At Shelby Farms, rangers are on the lookout for trouble and cameras monitor walking trails.
Last year, a rash of car break-ins led to warning signs for visitors to park smart.
“We advise people to leave their valuables at home or lock them up securely where they can’t be seen,” says Brian Wylie, a Shelby Farms Ranger.
Park officials say visitors should be aware of their surroundings and report suspicious activity.
But they say continue to visit the park.
The more people the safer it is for everyone.