Ohio Rest Stops Get Attention From State Highway Patrol

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With just a week away from the July 4 holiday, hundreds of thousands of Ohioan will hit the road.

Many will stop at one or more of the state's rest stops.

But how safe are they?

There are more than 90 rest stops in Ohio, and officials with the Ohio State Highway Patrol say they  inspect all of them every day -- seven days a week -- to make sure  motorists are safe.

The Magda family of Cleveland stopped at the Delaware County rest stop on their way home from a vacation in Gatlinburg, Tenn.

Like most experienced travelers, the family says it has a plan to keep their two daughters safe when it's time to pull off the road.

"Our method is we go in together, and when they're done, they put their feet under my stall door so I can see their foot and that way I know they are right with me," said Lind Magda, who has daughters ages 5 and 8. "If they get done before me, I don't let them wonder out alone."

Trooper Robert Curry says violent crimes at  Ohio rest stops are rare.

“It's very rare that we've had abductions or assaults in the rest area," he said.

While the highway patrol admits crimes at Ohio rest stops are rare, there are certain times when crimes do occur.

The patrol says statistics show the most common hours of the day for crime are at midnight and between 2 and 4 p.m.

The patrol says the most common crimes at rest stops involve finding stolen cars, drug use,  sex crimes and thefts from cars.

Troopers say most thefts are the result of people who leave their cars unlocked or their windows open.

Read more about Ohio's rest stops.

“Just make sure your valuables are out of sight, in your trunk, your center console compartment," Curry said. "Don't leave things out in plain view for people to be attracted to you."

From 2000-2012 the Patrol says it investigated 179 offense reports at rest stops statewide.

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