Tenn. – Clarksville Police are urging vehicle owners to “Park Smart!”
More than 60 percent of the recent vehicle thefts and burglaries in Clarksville have been to unlocked, unsecured vehicles or in cases where keys were left inside vehicles or easily accessible to thieves. This is contributing to an overall increase of more than 100 vehicle burglaries from the same period a year ago. Guns stolen from vehicle burglaries are up from 64 to 74.
In an attempt to fight this trend, Clarksville Police are teaming up with other law enforcement agencies to promote Park Smart! campaigns to reduce auto thefts and burglaries.
Park Smart! advice is easy to follow:
LOCK YOUR VEHICLE. Always lock vehicles and close windows, even for short durations, when a vehicle is unattended.
SECURE YOUR VALUABLES. A vehicle becomes a desirable target when purses, money, laptops, and cellphones are visible to a passerby. Also, leaving firearms inside of a vehicle overnight, unsecured or without some sort of positive control can be a formula for disaster.
TAKE YOUR KEYS WITH YOU. Never leave the key in the ignition or the key fob in the car when it is unattended or running.
State law says that no person driving or in charge of a motor vehicle should leave it unattended without first stopping the engine, locking the ignition, and effectively setting the brake. It also says no one should leave unsecured and unattended any truck, tractor-trailer or tractor-semitrailer combination, with a rated capacity of more than one ton, containing "medical waste" or "hazardous waste" in any residential area or within 1,000 feet of any church, school or park.
Also, The Tennessee Court of Appeals has ruled that a person leaving the keys in a car can be held responsible if the car is stolen and then involved in a crash.
Clarksville Police urge vehicle owners to remove incentives for thieves to break into a vehicle by leaving items of value inside it or leaving it running while stepping away. Following “Park Smart”! advice is easy compared to the money and time motorists will lose if their vehicle is burglarized or stolen.