Drivers downtown will start to see new signs that Metro police hope will help them avoid becoming the victim of a car break in.
Police are expanding their Park Smart campaign to stickers placed on parking meters that remind drivers “Don’t Leave Valuables in Sight.”
The Park Smart campaign reminds people to lock their vehicles, hide valuables and to take their keys with them.
“Around 80 percent of the burglaries downtown happened because someone left their car unlocked,” Central Precinct Sgt. John Borque said. “It can be as innocent as you were in a hurry and you ran off and forget about locking the door.”
When locked cars are broken into, police said it’s typically because valuables were left out in plain view.
“Most of the people in downtown doing car burglaries spend all day long checking door handles,” Sgt. Borque said. “When they find one open that’s the car they go through.”
When we talked to some downtown visitors they told News 2 they always lock their doors and hide valuables.
“I put them in my glove box and I have a lock box in my car as well I put things in there,” Grayson Rosenberger said. “Nothing is in view, nothing is in sight I make sure no wallets or phones are peaking out.”
He continued, “There are people coming from everywhere you never know who is down here and police can’t necessarily catch everything.”
Sandro Toniette and his friends are visiting Nashville from Switzerland. He told News 2 they are already accustomed to hiding valuables.
“In Europe when we do trips like that in the car there is such a high risk of people breaking into the car,” he said. “We also open all the boxes in the car so they can see that it is empty then we think the risk in breaking into the car is much lower.”
Also with the holiday shopping season approaching Metro police remind people to hide packages when shopping.
They also encourage you to move your car to a different part of the parking lot if you can.
Police said it will make it more difficult for a car burglar to find your car if you have to keep shopping after you put items in your trunk.
Officers said burglars will often watch parking lots for people placing valuables in the trunk.