STAYING ALERT IN DARK PARKING LOTS
As daylight continues to decrease this fall, parking lots will become more dangerous. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, parking lots are the third most common place where crimes occur with nearly 1,400 violent crimes committed each day.
- Park in well-lit lots or structures with regular security patrols. Avoid parking in dark, secluded spots or in corners of structures that may provide natural hiding places.
- Avoid parking next to large trucks or vans that have sliding doors that can allow assailants to quickly pull people inside.
- Scan the parking lot for anything or anyone suspicious, both as you park your car, and when you return. If you see suspicious activity, return immediately to a store or office and call the police.
- Before entering your vehicle, visually scan it to make sure no one is hiding inside or underneath. Consider carrying a small flashlight on your keychain to help you see.
- Once you get in your car, lock your doors, start your engine and leave the parking lot immediately.
- Do not leave valuables in plain sight inside your vehicle. Put items in the trunk or hide them in the car.
- Choose parking spots near security cameras, which act as a deterrent.