By Samuetta Hill Drew
Parking Deck Safety, a topic I had originally plan to address later this month, but after witnessing two vehicular break-ins next to my vehicle last week I thought it important to push up the timeline. Yes, two cars parked adjacent to my car were burglarized in less than an hour in a popular local mall parking deck. As I walked toward my car, I spotted a mall security officer walking toward the two burglarized cars. The car next to mine had the passenger door flung wide opened and the truck was opened in the car parked directly next to it. There was no visible sign of anyone on that deck level but the officer and myself. I immediately thought “thieves are starting the holiday season early this year” so we have to be prepared also. Because parking decks rank second for violent crimes after residential property, the safety tips will be divided into a two part series.
Parking Deck Safety Tips:
- Be Alert. Avoid talking on cell phones, searching for keys and shifting your packages and purse because they’re all detractions. Each of these detractions places you at a much higher risk because it decreases your ability to be aware of your environment.
- Observe the layout of the parking deck by identifying all entrances, staircases, and exits. If possible try to park near an entrance or in a well-lit area.
- Try not to use the elevators or stairs, it could place you in a very vulnerable situation by trapping you with someone who desires to do you harm. Also, it is almost impossible to hear any cries for help.
- Have your keys ready as you approach the car.
- Once you’re in your car, lock your doors and leave immediately. Don’t sit idly by talking on your cell phone, texting or checking your emails.
- Try to avoid parking between two SUVs, when possible.
- Don’t enter your vehicle if a van especially with sliding doors is parked next to your vehicle. If a suspicious van or vehicle is parked next to your vehicle enter on the opposite side. This prevents someone from pulling you into their van.
- If you are placing your child in their car seat, don’t become distracted by your environment. Keep your body at an angel instead of having your back completely turned towards the parking deck. An attacker could approach from behind if you aren’t paying attention.
Getting attacked in a parking deck is real and an unfortunate possibility for many individuals but, for women the risk is higher because most of the attacks in America are perpetrated toward women so remember to always Keep an Eye on Safety.