Park and Ride users urged to keep valuables hidden

July 2, 2011

Leaving the car at a Park and Ride and hopping the Freeway Flyer down to Summerfest should save time and money. However, returning to find a broken window and missing belongings doesn't make for a hassle-free experience.

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke warns people to leave items such as Global Positioning Systems, iPads, MP3 players and purses at home or at least hide them out of plain sight.

Each day, people board buses at the Park and Ride at Watertown Plank Road near Highway 45 to go to work. But the ridership increases exponentially during Summerfest and so do the number of vehicle break-ins.

Lock doors and hide away valuables, said Fran McLaughlin, Sheriff's Office spokeswoman. Put items in the trunk prior to arriving at the lot in case criminals are casing the area.

She recalled a driver who left a brand new microwave still in the box that was stolen, but she also points out that big-ticket items aren't the only targets. Loose change in cupholders can attract thieves.

"They just want money," McLaughlin said. "A couple of bucks could cost you hundreds of dollars to fix a broken window or locks."

Parks and Ride lots are equipped with security cameras and additional marked and undercover squads patrolling them. Still they can't be at every lot all the time, so people are asked to keep their eyes open. Suspicious activity can be reported by calling the Sheriff's Office at (414) 278-4788.


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