Published on June 9th, 2015 |


Thieves breaking into cars at Chattahoochee River parking lots

North Buckhead resident Jay Smith emailed a warning over the weekend to the Mt. Paran-Buckhead Citizens Association about thieves breaking into vehicles at several parking lots along the Chattahoochee River, including the East Palisades section that abuts the neighborhood.

The east Palisades section of the Chattahoochee River Park system.where thieves are breaking into parked cars.

The east Palisades section of the Chattahoochee River Park system.where thieves are breaking into parked cars.

A National Park Service Ranger apparently told Smith there were a half dozen break-ins over the past weekend, including another in the nearby Whitewater Creek Road lot that serves visitors to the East Palisades section of the park.

The lot, which abuts the Mt. Paran-Northside neighborhood, is the only one in the city of Atlanta, according to the ranger. Last Wednesday, four vehicles were entered and contents were taken in the Whitewater lot. Earlier, a vehicle was stolen from the lot.

According to Smith, the ranger said he and his colleagues are working with local law-enforcement officials, but he advised that persons using the parking lots “not make themselves soft targets” for criminals.

In addition to leaving nothing of value in your vehicle, the ranger said locking valuables in the trunk is ineffective. The ranger said he believes thieves are watching people as they park. If you lock your valuables in the trunk and lock your car, he said, thieves will smash the windows to your car to gain access to the trunk release.

The ranger told Smith the person whose vehicle was stolen likely believed no one was watching as the keys were left on the vehicle’s bumper while the driver went into the park.

Jay Smith

Jay Smith

The ranger said he and his colleagues are watching the parking lots closely, but he told Smith their staffing levels are not sufficient to cover all the lots all the time. He advised that suspicious activity be reported to local law-enforcement authorities by calling 911.

Aside from incidents of underage drinking and some drug use, the ranger said the East Palisades section of the park is generally very safe. He said rangers have cracked down on people in the river who do not have flotation devices, adding that there have been two drownings so far this year in the Chattahoochee.

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