LITTLE ROCK, Ark – Central Arkansas tennis centers are beefing up security after an increase in the number of car break-ins.
Players say in the last couple of weeks, they’ve heard of at least four break-ins at Rebsamen Tennis Center.
C.J. Simon’s family, unfortunately, fell victim to one of these thieves.
“I feel like people should be able to come out here and not have to worry about their belongings,” Simon said.
Simon said his wife was playing Tennis at Rebsamen Tennis Center a few weeks ago when her car was broken into.
“She had noticed that they had tried to bust in the front glass and were unable to do so and ended up busting in the back glass on the passenger side,” Simon said.
Simon said his wife’s car was one of two broken into in broad daylight.
USTA Arkansas Executive Director Deanna Garretson said Burns Park used to have the same issue as thieves targeted players out on the court.
“You’d have a couple of break-ins and then a month or two would go by, there would be nothing and then it would just happen again,” Garretson said.
He said in the last year those numbers have fallen off in Burns Park thanks to an increase in security.
“They come in, they patrol through the parking lot, they come sit in the parking lot,” Garretson explained.
Simon asked what efforts were being done to increase security at Rebsamen Tennis Center.
“It makes you want to ask, what’s being done to help?,” Simon said.
Rebsamen Tennis Center staff said they will have security throughout the upcoming Pro and Southern 16 Tournaments. After that security will remain patrolling until the center closes.
Just like in doubles though, it takes a teammate to reach victory. Garretson reminded everyone to be proactive.
“Everybody sticks your purse under the seat, put your wallet in the console, and you just can’t do that anymore,” Garretson said.
Garretson said it’s always a good tip to take your belongings with you wherever you go.
Rebsamen Tennis Center management said they are also planning on building a fence around their facility and decreasing trees around the center to make thieves more visible. Staff said those changes are expected to be complete within a year.