Sorry to plaster you kind folk with this sort of ugliness but I thought you needed to know what happened to Beth's car and 14 others on Friday night April 11, 2008 at the Alum Cave and Husky Gap Trailheads. Obviously, this was a bit more than a smash and grab. As many of you know, this happened to me several years ago at Alum Cave and they did less damage to my vehicle but much more serious injury to my credit and wallet. Ranger Shoen, above was and is very helpful and we appreciate his diligence and concern. This kind of thing happens all the time along Newfound Gap and 441. You will find no publicity about this event, I am certain that the Park Service likes it that way. I have some thoughts about preventative measures such as motion detecting cameras etc but I know the Park Service is strapped like everyone else. I think that warning signs are in order. All I know to do is warn our friends and fellow Outlaw Hikers and associates to never park a car there and if you do, then remove anything of value. I have always, since my burglary at Alum Cave, taken my wallet. Fortunately, Beth was able to cancel her debit/atm card before any charges appeared. The guys next to her were less lucky. These guys got several of their windows smashed and it was a borrowed vehicle. Along 441 you get a lot of interstate traffic and these guys get out of the state fast. Parking along that road is asking for trouble. From what I heard today, Clingmans Dome is no better right now.
(also, don't think that putting stuff in the trunk is safe. They pulled the trunk lever and lifted her purse, tennis shoes, dental instruments etc. Just leave everything at home and get a shuttle from a friend.)