How to Protect Oneself in a Parking Lot or Garage

The Bureau of Justice Statistics has stated that 1 in 10 property crimes take place in parking lots and parking garages. Therefore, New York residents will want to consider the following tips the next time they leave their cars in parking lots or garages. It all begins with people being aware and going with their instincts when they sense that something is wrong.

Thieves usually strike at night, so whenever possible, people should complete all their shopping or run all their errands during the daylight hours. They should avoid carrying lots of cash and should use their debit or credit cards for purchases. Jewelry, expensive handbags, and other high-end accessories should be kept hidden in the car if they can't be left at home. The same is true for garage door openers and GPS systems.

Individuals should park in lots with attendants on watch. If one can't be found, it is still relatively safe to park close to an entrance in a well-lit spot. If people are liable to forget where they parked, they should take a picture of the section or row number.

Before heading back to their vehicles, people should have their keys ready. Avoiding phone use is critical during this time. If something seems wrong, a security guard could escort someone. Once inside his or her car, he or she should drive out without delay.

Property owners, on the other hand, have a duty of care to entrants, and this includes protecting them against thieves. A victim of property crime may file a premises liability claim if he or she can show that the incident could have been prevented with the right safety measures. A lawyer could come in and hire investigators to gather proof against the property owner. He or she could then negotiate for a fair settlement that covers medical expenses, pain and suffering and so on.