NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) – A Nashville man said there has been an increase in car break-ins at Edwin Warner Park during Sport League games and now the League is looking to take it upon themselves to combat the issue.
“We normally have the greatest crowds on weekends on Saturdays and somewhat Sunday. About every week now on a Saturday or Sunday or every two weekends, we have a car or two broken into here at the parking lot as the parents are watching their kids play,” said Scott Tygard, the Executive Director of the West Nashville Sports League.
The issue has been frustrating for Tygard.
“It is unsafe to park your car in warner park I believe,” Tygard said.
Safety is important for Tygard and the sports league where he said 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 beginning to impact parents signing their kids up for the league.
“But we’ve got to do something because parents are becoming so frustrated and it’s becoming an issue of folks not wanting to play sports out here,” Tygard said.
News 4 asked if the break-ins are reported to Metro Nashville Police Department.
“Yes, we tell [parents] to please make a report and they do. They call the number, police department, sometimes I give them the parks police number to see if that would expedite them coming out here. And it takes three to four hours. Some of the folks have waited that long,” Tygard said.
According to MNPD, this is the report of theft from vehicles at Percy Warner and Edwin Warner Parks.
2021 – 59 YTD and 32 from 04/01/21 – 08/08/21
2022 – 64 YTD and 40 from 04/01/21 – 08/08/22
“During the weekdays and when we’re not out here we do see metro police driving around the parking lot and that’s not when this is happening, its happening when they’re a lot of people out here,” Tygard said.
He said he’s had enough and it’s time to take action.
“Electronic billboards; I’ve been in touch with the department of public transportation and public works, our parks department. Putting in signage up front that says park smart or thieves be aware, you’re going to get caught,” he said.
And some of the actions to tackle the issue included non-profits spending their money
“We’re going to try different things which are electronic billboards out here, security guard undercover. maybe even a drone overheard, we thought about,” Tygard said. “I’ve been in touch with a couple of companies that have the cameras we could place out here and this parking lot is such that it’s going to take 2 or 3 cameras and they’re pretty expensive,” he added
Tygard told WSMV 4′s Tosin Fakile that on Tuesday after the interview, the League rented a large traffic sign for warning folks about car break-ins. The cost is about $3,000 a month
“We’re a non-profit and I hate spending money on this type of thing but its becoming an issue that I don’t know where our parks system is on all this,” he added.
Tygard said he understood that MNPD may not have a lot of manpower but he added that something needs to be done.
MNPD parks and recreation said tips for people parking safe and smart at parks can be found here: Parks Safety – YouTube
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