Keep your car safe at local trailheads

April 1, 2011

By Staff

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Spring is here, which means — in theory – the rain will not fall as often, giving way to sunshine and warmer weather. If you’re looking for something to do outside to enjoy the weather, hiking is a great option.

However, be careful about what you leave in your car when you park at trailheads — even those near Cougar Mountain. Also, be mindful of your conduct before you hit the trails.

Although it may seem obvious, don’t leave valuables sitting in your car where a potential thief could see them. We get many police reports about people leaving purses or even laptop computers on seats at trailheads, and it’s not surprising when somebody smashes a window and easily snatches these items.

To be on the safe side, don’t leave anything visible in your car at trailheads, regardless of the value; you never know what may be appealing to a thief. Also, don’t leave a coat on your seat, as it may look like you are trying to conceal something valuable underneath. Although it may not lead to anything being stolen, it can leave you with a broken window and a several-hundred-dollar repair bill.

Newcastle Police Chief Melinda Irvine — an avid trail user — said the best practice is to only take with you what is necessary to the trailhead, and leave everything else at home. She said to carry your wallet with you while you’re on the trail.

If you have valuables that you can’t leave at home, hide them away before you get to the trailhead. If you put your purse or valuables in the trunk at the trailhead, a potential thief could see you and know exactly where to find your belongings.

If you’re going to the trailhead from work, change your clothes before you leave the office. If you change at the trailhead, it may send the message you recently came from work and that you are more likely to have valuables in your car.

Finally, park your car where there is a lot of foot or vehicle traffic. The more people that are around, the less likely it is that your car will be broken into.

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