Safety alert: Cleveland Metroparks say car break-ins on the rise - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Safety alert: Cleveland Metroparks say car break-ins on the rise

Cleveland Metroparks warns vehicle break-ins are up as the weather gets nicer. (Source: Cleveland Metroparks) Cleveland Metroparks warns vehicle break-ins are up as the weather gets nicer. (Source: Cleveland Metroparks)
Rangers say don't leave anything valuable in your car while out on the trails. (Source: WOIO) Rangers say don't leave anything valuable in your car while out on the trails. (Source: WOIO)
Rangers say thieves are stealing purses, cell phones and laptops. Anything left in the front console. (Source: WOIO) Rangers say thieves are stealing purses, cell phones and laptops. Anything left in the front console. (Source: WOIO)
FAIRVIEW PARK, OH (WOIO) -

The warm weather is back and you may be heading out to the trails for a walk, run or bike ride.

But Cleveland Metroparks rangers warn car break-ins are up.

Ashlee Thiessen spent a beautiful Friday afternoon walking the Cleveland Metroparks trails with her family.

We asked her what she left behind in her car since rangers say there have been a rash of break-ins lately.

“We've got a little guy so there's always a lot to carry. So yeah, we kind of always leave a few valuable things behind, but it's definitely something to think about now,” Thiessen said.

Cars have been left with windows smashed in after thieves stole anything valuable left in sight.

“Right now my wallet's in the car! So definitely concerning, something we'll think about from now on,” Thiessen said.

Cleveland Metroparks Rangers say they tend to see more smash and grabs in the spring.

The parks get busier during the warmer weather and so do the thieves.

All it takes is a quick glance. If a thief sees valuables sitting in your car,  when you get back they might be gone.

“We're seeing people take advantage of the conditions. We know this is a crime of opportunity. We have people that really kind of watch other people,” said Captain John Betori.

He says there have been about 50 vehicle break-ins in the first four months of this year.

Everything from purses to cell phones, laptops and even spare change has been stolen.

“Make sure you bring only what's necessary. If you have an ID and cash, that's all you need. If it's stuff you really need to have with you, secure it first in your vehicle so that you're not seen securing it when you get here,” Capt. Betori said.

Jack Hayn and Janet Cressman say they're already in the habit of doing just that.

“The precautions are we don't leave anything in the car,” Hayn said.

“I have the little purse, so I don't put it in the car and leave it. The parks are so wonderful to go walk in. Parking where other cars are, other people are. Being aware of your surroundings. It's unfortunate that it has to happen but it does,” Cressman said.

Cleveland Metroparks Rangers say there were about 160 vehicle break-ins in 2015.

Right now the thefts are slightly down from last year.

They say thefts like this can happen outside of the park system, so be careful where ever you park.

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