Thieves Target Central Ohio Metro Parks


UPDATED: Friday April 26, 2013 6:35 PM

From park to park, thieves are targeting valuables left alone in parked vehicle.

“We know they are 100 percent successful in their break-ins,” said Metro Parks Deputy Director Larry Peck. “We know they're watching visitors; we know they're watching us.”

Peck says thieves are watching where you put your phone, hide your keys or what you leave in the back seat.

And in the short time 10TV News was at Blacklick Metro Park, rangers pointed out a laptop left sitting in a back seat.

“That is my laptop and all my school books,” Jeffrey Bing admitted.

Not only that, but Bing also put his keys by the gas tank. Rangers say that's another common mistake.

“I never really am thinking about it, never thinking that it's going to happen to you or it could happen to you,” Bing said.

But it can and it has.

Thieves have targeted Slate Run Metro Park, Three Creeks Metro Park, Walnut Woods Metro Park and the Blacklick Metro Park and Golf Course.

The Metro Parks staff says it is being proactive.  They've posted signs at some of the parks reminding people not to leave their valuables and if they do see something, they warn visitors with notices.

“If we can see that, that means potential criminals can see it too,” Peck said.

The recent thefts at the Metro Parks have been linked to one group of people.

Rangers are on the lookout for their car and are working with other agencies to catch them.

But they say park goers also need to look out for themselves.

“I should be a little more conscious of where I keep my stuff or how I keep it hidden,” Bing said.

A conscious effort that could make or break a day at the park.

Park rangers say another common mistake is people putting their belongings in the trunk.

If thieves are watching you, they can easily break a window and open your trunk.

Instead, rangers suggest putting your items in the trunk before you get to the park.’

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