Police hope to prevent holiday car break-ins with high tech towers - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Kontji Anthony

Police hope to prevent holiday car break-ins with high tech towers

Memphis Police are using a new tool to keep an eye out for criminals who target shoppers this Christmas season: Two new Sky Watch Patrol Towers.

The Memphis Police Department has two new patrol towers, designed to help them target the number one problem for shoppers during the Christmas season: car break-ins.

Ann Bowers said someone recently broke into her car while she was shopping.

"The glove box was open, and then stuff that was under the seat was out," she said.

Lt. A. M. DeWitt of the Memphis Police Department said it is a common scenario the towers are designed to prevent.  From up high, police can get full views of entire parking lots, enabling them to look for suspicious activity.

"We feel the physical presence is a big deterrent," DeWitt said.

Often, professional car thieves can get in and out of a victims car in less than a minute.  According to DeWitt, the tower gives officers, "Extra eyes and ears on our parking lot out here."

Friday, one of the towers was placed at the Wolfchase Galleria Mall.  Accompanying it were other security measures, including patrol cars, and officers on bikes, on foot, and in plain clothes.

DeWitt said the tower would be seen in other parts of the city.

"Logistically, we located it here first, but it's set up to be moved throughout the holidays," he said.

The tower will be manned during mall hours.  DeWitt said a camera will soon be installed in it to keep a record of any suspicious activity.

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