Police warn citizens of car break ins near Riverbend Festival - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Police warn citizens of car break ins near Riverbend Festival

Posted: Updated:

If you're one of the thousands who still have plans to attend Riverbend in the coming days, police are warning patrons to make sure you lock your cars before going in.

A string of break-ins have been reported since Friday night, causing several festival-goers to feel uneasy.

"People got a lot of guts, anymore," Linus Leiker says. "Ha!"

They have enough guts to break into a number of cars at the city's most well-attended and well-protected event: Riverbend.

So many cars have been burgled through, smashed windows or doors left unlocked, since the concerts kicked off on Friday.

The Chattanooga Police Department issued a warning on Tuesday, asking festival-goers to be careful.

"I'm a little surprised about it being this part of downtown," Dennis Smith says. "It's not too bad, normally."

Dennis Smith works in Chattanooga. He knows the area and takes precautions.

"Well, I always make sure my doors are locked, you know, I set the alarm; just kind of be aware of the surroundings where I'm at," says Smith.

"From what I've seen, the security around here is pretty good," Leiker says. "Just from what I've seen and I'm in a secure parking lot."

Linus Leiker may have hit on a key: the secure, attended or heavily-traveled parking lot.

With space at a premium and some asking upwards of $20 per space, people snap up road-side parking that is free, but considerably less secure.     

CPD officer Nathan Hartwig says the majority of the break-ins have come along Riverfront Parkway and Riverside Drive.

"It's a crime of opportunity and there's a lot of cars that are left unsecured and they're in an unmonitored area just parked along the street," Officer Hartwig says. "And people are breaking into them looking for anything they can grab and sell."

Patrols have been increased, but if you're going to Riverbend, you can help by being responsible.

"Be careful where you park, especially if it's an unlit area," Hartwig says. "You're more prone to be broken into where there's no lighting and just don't keep any valuables in your car."

Police say most of the reported break-ins have taken place on Riverfront Parkway and Riverside Drive.

Again, they advise not to leave any valuables in your car, to lock the doors, and to park in a well-lit area. 

If you see any suspicious activity, contact Chattanooga police at (423) 698-2525.

Powered by Frankly