Thieves targeting Kennesaw park visitors

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A warning for people who visit Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park: Hide the valuables in your vehicle and lock your doors.

Rangers believe groups of criminals are responsible.

“What we're seeing is a level of sophistication of items being stolen that would probably be beyond the capabilities of most young people,” says Chief Ranger Anthony Winegar. “So taking those credit cards or personal belongings, especially in the case of credit cards, getting that money stashed somewhere to be able to use it later on.”

One woman, who didn't want to be identified by name, hiked one of the trails with her boyfriend on July 1. When they returned, she says, his 2011 silver Chevy Silverado was gone.

“It's upsetting because I do come here all the time,” she told FOX 5 News. “They could've had a gun or anything could've happened. I felt safe here for a long time and I don't really feel safe. It's devastating to work really hard for things and just have them taken away from you.”

Winegar says between January 1, 2017 and July 5, 2017 visitors reported four vehicle break-ins. That number for the same time period in 2018 is nine.

Rangers say they are stepping up patrols. They are also sharing information about break-ins with other departments.