NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Metro police are stepping up their patrols as car break-ins continue at hotels near Nashville International Airport (BNA).
On Friday, April 21, police said a Hermitage Precinct officer was surveying the Donelson Pike area between 2 a.m. and 2:30 a.m. when they noticed a vehicle speeding out of a parking lot. The officer tried to initiate a traffic stop, but the vehicle took off and a pursuit started.
Police said they chased the vehicle before it crashed on 10th Avenue South. They said the suspect fled the scene and is still on the run.
Leesa LeClaire, president and CEO of the Greater Nashville Hospitality Industry, said she’s seen the issue of Nashville car break-ins grow over time, however, she’s also seen an increase in preventative measures by police and the hotels.
Metro police and their data dashboard do not break down burglaries to vehicle-specific cases, but the hospitality organization noted precincts outside of the downtown area are typically targeted because it’s easier to travel in and out of the area.
LeClaire used to managed a Hilton hotel near BNA and said they had a problem with break-ins, so they cleared the landscaping, making the parking lot more visible and put up police signage.
“Eventually, we ended up putting in parking equipment,” said LeClaire. “We charged a small fee for parking to help pay for that equipment and in the end the barrier helped eliminate, I would say, 98% of any kind of break-ins that we were having.”
If hotels are able, she recommended they incorporate similar measures.
“It certainly made a difference for our property,” said LeClaire.
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She said Hermitage Precinct officers meet with area hotels quarterly. Their next meeting is Wednesday, April 26, and they’ll exchange reports and recommendations on how to up security.
“They are willing to come out to the hotel, do an assessment, take a look at things like lighting, landscaping, and just a general assessment of the hotel property, see if there’s anything they can do to make it more safe,” said LeClaire.
LeClaire said car break-ins can unfortunately happen anywhere, so drivers must be mindful of locking their cars and keeping their valuables in a safe place.