NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) – A Nashville man says there has been an increase in car break-ins at Edwin Warner Park during Sports League games and the League is now looking to take action to tackle the problem.
“We normally have the biggest weekend crowds on Saturday and a bit on Sunday. About every week now, on a Saturday or Sunday or every other weekend, we have a car or two broken into here in the parking lot as parents watch their kids play,” said Scott Tygard, executive director of the West Nashville Sports League. .
The issue has been frustrating for Tygard.
“I believe it’s not safe to park your car in Warner Park,” Tygard said.
Safety is important to Tygard and the sports league where he says about 1,200 kids play flag football and 500 or more play fall baseball. He said the issue of what they call “smash and dash” is starting to impact parents who enroll their kids in the league.
“But we have to do something because the parents are getting so frustrated and it’s becoming a problem of people not wanting to play sports here,” Tygard said.
News 4 asked if the burglaries were reported to the Metro Nashville Police Department.
“Yes, we say [parents] please make a report and they do. They call the number, the police department, sometimes I give them the park police number to see if that would speed them up to come here. And it takes three to four hours. Some people have waited that long,” Tygard said.
According to the MNPD, this is the report of vehicle theft at the Percy Warner and Edwin Warner parks.
2021 – 59 YTD and 32 from 04/01/21 to 08/08/21
2022 – 64 YTD and 40 from 04/01/21 to 08/08/22
“On weekdays and when we’re not here, we see the metro police driving around the parking lot and that’s not when it happens, it happens when it’s busy here,” Tygard said.
He said he had enough and it was time to act.
“Electronic Notice Boards; I have been in contact with the Department of Public Transport and Public Works, our Department of Parks. Put up signage out front that says park smart or watch out for thieves, you’ll get caught,” he said.
And some of the actions to solve the problem included non-profits spending their money
“We’re going to try different things which are electronic bulletin boards here, undercover security guards. maybe even a drone heard, we thought about that,” Tygard said. “I’ve been in contact with a few companies that have the cameras that we could put here and this car park is such that you’re going to need 2 or 3 cameras and they’re quite expensive,” he added.
Tygard told WSMV 4’s Tosin Fakile that on Tuesday after the interview, the League rented a large road sign to warn people of car break-ins. The cost is around $3,000 per month
“We’re a nonprofit and I hate spending money on this stuff, but it’s becoming an issue where I don’t know where our parks system is at,” he added.
Tygard said he understood the MNPD might not have a lot of manpower, but added that something needed to be done.
MNPD Parks and Recreation said advice for people parking safely in parks can be found here: Park Safety – YouTube
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