Don't want it stolen? Leave valuables at home before hitting the trails, police say.
Louie Cuaderno rides his bike at Westchester Lagoon at least once a week. Cuaderno takes along everything he needs, everything else stays in his car.
"I just don't leave my belongings out. If it's anything valuable, I try to take them out of there, or at least hide it somewhere," said Cuaderno.
With the warm, sunny weather in this past week, people in Anchorage are hitting the trails. Anchorage Police Department Officer Natasha Welch was one of many stretching her legs at the lagoon.
"Beautiful weather like this is going to draw more people out of their households to enjoy our [nearly] 11,000 acres of parkland here in the Municipality," Welch said.
This time of year also tends to attract another group of visitors.
"Thieves obviously have eyes. They're going to watch you walk away from your vehicle, and if they know the Anchorage Trail System, they're going to go, 'This person is probably walking down to Valley of the Moon and maybe coming back,'" Welch said.
Anchorage police reported no cases of car theft or thefts from cars at Westchester Lagoon this year, however four incidents have taken place in the surrounding area. Online crime mapping shows there have been no reports of those crimes at Kincaid Park, Potter Marsh or the Glen Alps trailhead in 2019.
There are things you can do to protect you and your property, Officer Welch said.
"Before you leave your house with your vehicle, you want to check around the interior of your vehicle, make sure all items of value are removed from your vehicle," said Welch.
Don't panic if you forget to do that.
"If you have a blanket or something inside your vehicle, grab the blanket and cover up," Welch said.
She also advised hikers, bikers and walkers to be aware of their surroundings when visiting one of the trails.
"People are sitting in cars, they may be watching us, so as we quickly try to conceal things on site there, they're watching where you put things," said Welch.
Anchorage police also say you should keep a fully charged cell phone with you, tell someone where you're going and to be aware of wildlife, especially moose in the spring.
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