The Omaha man desires to assist the climbing neighborhood really feel safer
OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – A sunny January afternoon took a dark turn in one of Omaha city parks this week.
A police report said a woman from Chicago was sitting in her car in the parking lot at 144th St. on Wednesday afternoon around 4:45 a.m. on Standing Bear Lake. She told police that two men were approaching her car. One came to the driver’s side window while the other broke the passenger side window, stole her purse, and ran away.
This was disturbing news for many in the Omaha hiking community.
The Hike Omaha Facebook page was a quick hit on the robbery, and Jared Lashley had to worry about ways to make people feel safer on the trails.
An avid hiker himself, Lashley says crime has no place in city parks where people hike, jog, ride bikes, and walk their dogs.
“I couldn’t believe it could happen here,” he said.
Lashley believes everyone has the right to feel and be safe, and after this week’s robbery, he offers help in every possible way.
“I’ve been trying to find a way that people can feel more secure,” he said. “I am a daily hiker and have thought about sharing my location and phone number so people can hike there if they want and even make them more assured that someone else in the group is there. You don’t necessarily have to tell me you are there just that you knew it was me. “
Lashley said Wednesday’s robbery won’t stop him from hiking. In the early morning and evening hours, however, he can rethink hiking alone.
He said he was concerned about a possible crime trend at Standing Bear Lake.
“I only realized after reading this post that there has been quite a bit of crime here and recently,” he said.
Not all crimes are reported to the police, but the crime mapping website shows that the police have been called to Standing Bear Lake 6 times in the past 4 weeks. The reports refer to car break-ins, vandalism and robbery on Wednesday.
The dates go back to July. Many more calls were made to the Omaha Police Department during this period. Again mostly for car break-ins and theft. This week’s incident remains the only reported robbery.
As for Jared Lashley, he hopes others in the hiking community will follow his example and help build a greater sense of security for those who enjoy the outdoors.
“Everyone should feel safe, there is no reason they shouldn’t, this is a city park,” Lashley said.
He also gave advice to hikers, hikers, and everyone else on the trails – wear a whistle, turn on “location” on your phone, and take photos and videos so people know where you are and report always suspicious activity.
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