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"Awful, Sorry, Pathetic" Thieves Hit Community Center

A rise in thefts at a Bryant City Park has police and city officials warning their community of "awful, sorry and pathetic people stealing unwatched items."
BRYANT, AR -- A piece of paper with a not-so-subtle message clearly points out what the Bishop Park Community Center in Bryant is experiencing.

"PLEASE!!! Do not leave your phones or other personal belongings unattended. There are awful, sorry, pathetic people stealing unwatched items..."

It's a warning that people out there will steal your stuff if left out.

"You should be able to lay your stuff down and play basketball without worrying about it getting stolen," said Tony Garlington, a Bryant resident and park member.

City Park officials say personal belongings have come up missing on multiple occasions with the latest happening this holiday season.

"It's just real frustrating cause you want people to feel safe here and if something like that happens they don't feel safe here," Parks Director, Derek Phillips said.

So Phillips has turned to this warning and a possible change in the way they do things.

While the park is open to everyone, currently it's the paying members that are screened the most.

"We have their picture," Phillips explained. "We have their phone number. We have all their information."

Everyone else he says, "The people that come in with day passes -- who we kinda feel may be doing this -- they just sign their name."

Now, the park is looking at a more stringent policy on those visitors while soliciting the help of local authorities who have the case.

"We fully intend to increase our patrol and increase our vigilance at our parks and get this nipped in the bud before it gets out of control," Captain Phillip Newcomb with Bryant Police added.

Thanks to surveillance, city officials do have leads on the latest perpetrators, or as this sign puts it, "the awful, sorry and pathetic people out there."
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