As the weather gets warmer and more people are visiting outdoor recreation sites, it’s a good time to review tips to keep your belongings safe so all of your 2021 nature outings are enjoyable.
Burglary to motor vehicles can happen anywhere and they've occurred at preserves throughout the county over the years. This spring, however, incidents have happened at Hadley Valley Preserve's Route 6 and Gougar Road access points, said Forest Preserve Police Lt. Dave Barrios.
"Please leave your valuables at home," he stressed. "All of the recent burglaries have involved purses being stolen from cars."
Here are five vehicle safety tips from the Forest Preserve’s police department:
- Lock your doors. This is good advice whether your vehicle is parked in a preserve or in your own driveway. Never leave your keys in your car or an unlocked vehicle running.
- Do not leave valuables in view in your vehicle. Put them in the trunk prior to your arrival or – better yet – leave them at home.
- Report suspicious activity as soon as you see it. Call the nonemergency dispatch number, 815.727.6191.
- Be a good witness. Get a description, location, direction of travel and license plate number when available.
- Report incidents immediately. Call 815.727.6191 for Forest Preserve police assistance during nonemergency situations and 911 for emergencies.
Forest Preserve police encourage preserve users to program the nonemergency dispatch number into their cell phones. Forest Preserve police officers are dispatched to all Will County Forest Preserves by the Laraway Communications Center regardless of where the preserve is located in Will County.
The District advises people to never confront someone who is in the act of committing a crime, but to call the dispatch number for nonemergencies or 911 for emergencies.
Stay up-to-date on the happenings in Will County's forest preserves by subscribing to The Citizen, our weekly digital newsletter that provides subscribers with updates on Forest Preserve news, upcoming events, and other fun and useful information for the whole family. If you're only interested in programs, subscribe to The Weekly Five, which outlines the five must-do programs each week. Signing up for either newsletter is easy and free of charge.