parking lot

How often do you find yourself in a crowded parking lot?  Probably more often than you’d like, which is why it’s so important to take safety precautions that you may not normally think of.  Believe it or not, parking lots can be extremely dangerous and are often patrolled by criminals.  Follow these tips to keep your valuables, and more importantly, yourself safe.

  • Don’t make your car an easy target.  Always lock the doors and hide all valuables, especially new purchases or GPS devices.  Thieves look for items such as these so do not leave them in sight.  Purchases should go in the trunk and make sure to not only remove the GPS device itself but also the cord, and if your GPS is mounted to the window, try and remove the suction marks.  If thieves see these marks, they may assume that you’re hiding your GPS in the center console or glove compartment and break in anyway.  It’s best to leave no trace of any valuables whatsoever.
  • Be strategic when picking a parking spot.  We know that it can be tough to do this, but try and avoid parking in dark, desolate locations.  If you can park in a crowded, well-lit area that’s your best bet.  Criminals are not likely to target vehicles or people in these areas, as they are more likely to be identified.
  • Remain alert.  This is an extremely important tip, and unfortunately there are endless distractions between music, emails, and phone calls but it’s important to put those things on hold until you’re home.  Watching your surroundings is your best defense against becoming a victim or getting hit by a car.
  • Don’t stall when walking to your car.  Walk briskly and don’t appear as though you’re lost, even if you can’t find your car.  If possible, go shopping with a friend and use the buddy system, that will significantly reduce your chance of becoming a target.  If you are by yourself and are nervous to walk to your car, don’t hesitate to ask a security guard to walk you to your car.  All malls have security guards and that’s what they are there for, it’s better to be safe than sorry!
  • Carry your keys in your hand, not only can they act as a weapon if necessary, but it’s also better to be ready to unlock your car right away.  Once you’re in the car, don’t sit there picking a song or making a call, lock the doors right away and drive.
  • If you do feel as though you’re being followed out of a parking lot, drive to a well-lit area such as a gas station and call the police.  Having a car charger is also a good idea should you find yourself in an emergency situation such as this, you don’t want to have a dead cell phone and no way to call for help.

Keep these tips in mind next time you find yourself in a crowded parking lot.  Knowledge is your best defense against becoming a victim, so observe your surroundings, avoid distractions, and stay safe!

Photo By: Benson Kua