Ahead of busy Thanksgiving travel, some concerned about KCI parking safety

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The busiest travel week of the year arrives next week.

Beginning Friday, Kansas City International Airport administrators expect 312,000 passengers spread out over a 10-day stretch for the Thanksgiving holiday.

And with all that air travel come concerns over car theft at KCI, too.

The homecoming Danielle Schroeder-Williams and her husband received on Monday included searching for their big Chevy truck in the economy lot. But it was no where to be found.

“We looked and thought maybe we didn’t park it there,” Schroeder-Williams said.

But sure enough, their truck had been stolen. Kansas City airport police found surveillance footage that showed someone breaking into the pickup and tailgating a paying customer out of the lot without paying for parking.

“Who wants to come back from vacation to a lot vehicle? Losing work, time, anything of that nature that we’ve lost, having to deal with it,” Schroeder-Williams said.

Kansas City police no longer patrol the airport. Instead, airport police handle security on the property. However, Kansas City police told FOX4 for the entire city, theft has actually dropped 3% in November.

KCI officials insist the property and their parking lots are safe.

Joe McBride, a KCI spokesperson, said he can’t confirm whether or not other car thefts have occurred at the airport’s parking lots. But Schroeder-Williams said an officer told her there were others during the past weekend.

Still McBride said there are cameras in the parking lots but warned passengers to be prudent about where they park. The airports three economy lots can hold a total of 15,000 vehicles. Passengers also shouldn’t leave valuables in their cars while they travel.

“We’re a partner to our travelers,” he said. “We want them to feel safe, and we’re doing what we can to get to the bottom of a couple of thefts we’ve had here recently.”

McBride said travel is expected to be 40% busier than it was on Thanksgiving weekend in 2019.

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