There has been a rash of smash-and-grab car break-ins in and around Harnett County over the last several months. Several park visitor vehicles parked in the parking lots at Raven Rock State Park have been hit. Thieves are smashing windows of locked cars and taking valuables stowed in the passenger area. Park staff is urging you to take precautions to prevent becoming a victim while visiting our naturally wonderful park. Below are some tips to help you prepare for your visit.
Car Break-in Prevention Tips
- Don’t make it easy
Keep windows and sunroofs closed and doors locked. Thefts that occur from vehicles are oftentimes from cars that have been left unlocked.
- Take your identification and other valuables with you
Many smash-and-grab thieves act on impulse, so keep your personal identification and valuable items with you. Remember: Simply hiding personal items like wallets or purses in the passenger area of the vehicle will not protect them from being taken in a smash-and-grab break-in. Thieves may be in the parking lot watching you stow your items. They may also be watching for what you don’t take with you. Thieves know most people have wallets and purses while driving, so if they see you leave your vehicle without it you may be creating a target.
- Stow your stuff before arrival
If you can’t carry an item with you, it is best to hide it before you arrive. Place any valuables you can’t carry with you in a locked trunk out of sight.
- Stash the evidence too!
After you’ve put your valuables in the trunk, don’t forget such telltale evidence as power plugs, MP3 adapters, and navigation system windshield suction-cup mounts. Thieves know what they’re looking for, so hide the electronic accessories, too.
- Don’t hand a thief your keys
Take your keys with you. Don’t assume you have a great hiding place for a spare key: Thieves know where to look!
- Garage Door Opener
Don’t leave your garage door opener visible.
- Don’t depend on a vehicle’s alarm system
Anti-theft vehicle alarms are great, but they do not necessarily prevent break-ins. In fact, many vehicle alarm systems will not be triggered by vehicle tampering, including shattering a window to access the vehicle.
- Trust your instincts
If you see suspicious activity, find another spot to park and report your suspicions to Park Staff. You may help prevent someone else from becoming a victim.
Park Contacts: Visitor Center – (910) 893-4888 (dial 0 at the greeting)
Park Ranger (emergency cell #) – (910) 890-1932
Raven Rock State Park sits along the fall zone, an area where the hard, resistant rocks of the foothills give way to the softer rocks and sediments of the coastal plain. The underlying rocks of the area were formed more than 400 million years ago by intense heat and pressure.
Through the ages, flowing waters and swirling winds gradually eroded the land, carving and sculpting Raven Rock. This immense crystalline structure rises to 150 feet and stretches for more than a mile along the Cape Fear River. The rock was originally called Patterson's Rock for an early settler who found refuge there when his canoe capsized nearby. In 1854, its name was changed to Raven Rock, inspired by the sight of ravens that formerly roosted on rock ledges.
The Siouan and Tuscarora Indians hunted the area until European settlers arrived in the mid-1700s. The first settlers were primarily hunters and trappers who were searching for high country similar to their native country, Scotland. Later, stores, mills and quarries were built. Many of the woodlands were farmed, and as the forests returned, much of the land was harvested for timber.
A road that stretched from Raleigh to Fayetteville crossed the Cape Fear River via the Northington Ferry and served as the area's major transportation route. Locks and dams were built along the river to facilitate navigation by boat, and Raven Rock became an important landmark for river pilots. After a hurricane destroyed the locks and dams in 1859, the structures were not replaced; railroad transportation eliminated the need for river travel. As new roads were built, the ferry was closed and Raven Rock became a popular recreation spot. The remnants of the Northington lock and dam can still be seen in the park.
In 1965, interest grew in preserving the area as a state park, and local citizens organized support for the project. In 1969, a bill establishing the park was passed in the General Assembly. More than 220 acres of land were purchased and another 170 acres were donated by Burlington Industries. Additional tracts have since been purchased, bringing the park to its present size of 4,684 acres.
Raven Rock State Park
January, February: 7am - 7pm
March, April, May: 7am - 9pm
June, July, August: 7am - 10pm
September, October: 7am - 9pm
November, December: 7am - 7pm
Closed Christmas Day
Park Visitor Center
8am - 5pm daily
Closed Christmas Day