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String of car break-ins at NW Oklahoma City dog park now has dog owners concerned

OKLAHOMA CITY - A string of car break-ins at a northwest Oklahoma City dog park now has pet owners on edge.

“I’ve never had any trouble, but I’ve seen a lot of windows busted out,” said Monica Janacek, a volunteer with Paw Park near Lake Hefner.

Janacek said, lately, her work has included sweeping up a lot of glass.

“I’d like to have some kind of security or some cameras, or something like that would be nice,” she said.

Oklahoma City police said, during this time of year, they often see a rise in car burglaries all around the Lake Hefner area. After several reports of windows smashed in at Paw Park, some dog owners are now concerned.

“I’ll definitely be watching out more often. With the baseball field, the park and the dog park, you just wouldn’t expect something where you’ve got to worry about crime here,” said Keith Starr, who has been coming to the park for four years now.

Glass covered many parking spots throughout the lot.

Police said the best way to keep your valuables from being stolen is to not leave them in your car in the first place. But, if you can’t do that, hide those items before you get to the park.

“It doesn’t always do you a lot of good to get out there, and then open your trunk and start moving valuables to it or putting things under a seat because a burglar in the area can simply see you doing this,” said MSgt. Gary Knight, Oklahoma City police.

One victim, who didn’t want to go on camera, said she had her purse hidden under the seat and thieves still busted out her window to find it. Now, those who frequent the park just want the break-ins stop.

“I just wish they’d catch them, teach them a lesson,” dog owner Scott Burns said.

“They will get caught. Because, you can’t go do things without it catching up to you,” Janacek said.

The park is volunteer run, but there have been meetings to discuss putting in a camera system.

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