Running in the Wissahickon during the summer months means taking extra precautions if you are arriving by car.  This point was unfortunately made abundantly clear this past month when two runners in the May trail series had their parked vehicle broken into and their cell phones and wallets stolen.  What had been a lovely run in the woods for the pair turned into a very unpleasant and expensive experience.

Maura McCarthy, director of the Friends of the Wissahickon, warned that the number of care break-ins spikes during the summer months. While break-in during the winter months do take place, they are infrequent, one or two a month in the whole park.  In the summer, the number of break-ins increases significantly.

The best way to avoid trouble, Maura said, is not to bring any valuables with you when you park in the Wissahickon. No wallets, no cell phones, no briefcases.  If that is not possible, leave the valuables in the trunk where they will not be visible.

“But make sure you place these valuables in the trunk before you come into the park,” she said.  “If you only place your valuables in the trunk after you have parked, someone might be watching you.”

Maura said that the park is one of the safest areas in Philadelphia.  But the bucolic nature of the park can be misleading.  “You are still in the city, and crime does still happen,”  she said.

These precautions should be taken regardless of where you park your vehicle, including the two lower lots by the Valley Green Inn, she added.  If you do observe or are a victim of a crime, remember that the Chestnut Hill side of the Wissahickon is served by the 14th police district, and the Roxborough side by the 5th district.  And keep a vigilant eye out regardless how beautiful the day.