Vehicle break-ins prompt ‘watch list’

A Knox County Sheriff’s officer said a string of recent vehicular break-ins occurred at Mayor Bob Leonard Park.

KCSO Capt. Robbie Lawson said the break-ins occurred during a recent lacrosse camp.

Lawson said the area was on a watch list, meaning when officers are not on call they patrol that particular area more often than others.

“Most of the time, they’re drug related,” he said about vehicular break-ins, adding most people who break into cars are trying to get money for drugs — particularly opiates.

Lawson provided a list of tips from KCSO on how to keep one’s person and possessions safe in parks. Town of Farragut published the list in it’s “At Your Leisure” newsletter..

The list stated park visitors should keep purses, wallets and other valuables out of sight.

“If you must leave something in your vehicle, secure the item in the trunk before you get to your location. Keep in mind that electronic games, portable DVD players, GPS units, phones, electronics and expensive children’s toys should not be left visible in cars,” the list stated.

“If you leave something out in plain view, if you leave your purse laying on the floor boards, someone can see it. They’ll knock your window down,” Lawson said.

“They’ll knock out your window for a dirty gym bag, if they can see it, because they don’t know what’s in it. Don’t leave anything in plain view,” he added.

The list stated park visitors should lock and secure vehicles. It stated they should keep a running list of all pertinent information regarding the electronic devices kept in vehicles, including model and serial numbers.

It stated park visitors should keep keys on their persons and never leave them lying around; that visitors leaving the park should have their keys ready in their hands.

It also warned park visitors to be alert and aware of surroundings and that visitors should not go into parks alone.

Lawson said that rule especially applies to people who visit parks after dark, close to dark or early in the morning.

“Being alone makes you susceptible to crime … If you’re by yourself, you’re very vulnerable,” he said.