A dangerous trend has surfaced in Arkansas and there’s a good chance it’s going to spread, so everyone needs to be aware. It started with a string of vehicle break-ins and has folks wondering if its safe to go to the park these days.
Scary trend hits state park
Police noticed a string of vehicle break-ins across the state had many similar elements. Worse, it’s a growing trend. Some victims, police note, have actually been helping to make it happen.
For example, Lindsey Ooley and her family went to Crowley’s Ridge State Park “to enjoy the beautiful weather and take a walk.” Things weren’t so pleasant after their hike.
“We got back, and the window was smashed.” When they investigated, they found her purse gone, along with “a ring my grandfather gave me and a bunch of other things.”
She was shocked speechless. When she called it in, she learned that its a disturbing trend. The Ooley family “were not the only victims that day.”
Park rangers soon explained that “they had around five or six different calls” reporting the same exact thing. Jeff Lemaster, Communications Coordinator with the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism, is the one to call it a statewide trend.
“We do think that these are coordinated events and that it’s probably the same group of perpetrators. We are seeing this in central Arkansas as well as in the northwestern part of the state.”
Don’t make it easy
Lemaster notes that smashed windows aren’t the only way these thieves are gaining access to cars. One of the reasons the trend is growing is because the victims often ask to be robbed. A key to stopping the crime wave is situational awareness.
The park spokesman warns folks not to “try to hide their keys around the car when they leave.” It’s begging for trouble.
“We see a lot of people trying to leave their keys in the wheel well of the vehicle, the trailer hitch, or even a tailpipe.” Someone could be lurking in the bush with binoculars.
“If a concealed criminal is watching, it makes it that much easier for them to get into your vehicle.” So easy, it has become a trend. It’s scary for adults and even worse for kids.
Lindsey Ooley agrees that’s a big concern because her young daughter is still having anxiety issues. “My daughter could not sleep last night. I honestly don’t know if we will go back anytime soon, It could have been even worse.”
Lemaster calls it such “a dangerous trend, the department is looking to increase security at different parks to ensure the safety of everyone.“