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Prevention Tips

In Parking Lots and Garages

  • Park in open, well-lighted, and populated areas near your destination.
  • Avoid parking near trucks, vans, dumpsters, and other objects that obstruct visibility and provide hiding places. Check that no one is hiding around your vehicle before you get out.
  • Avoid parking or walking near strangers loitering or sitting in vehicles.
  • Report any lights that are out to the facility operator.
  • Lock your vehicle and take your keys with you.
  • Never leave any valuables in plain sight.
  • Conceal maps or travel brochures that might indicate you are a tourist.
  • Wear shoes or clothes in which you can easily run to safety if threatened. Kick off high-heeled shoes and run barefoot if you are pursued.
  • Remember where you parked so you can return directly to your vehicle. Be alert and walk purposefully.
  • Don’t overload your arms with packages. Use a cart or make another trip.
  • Have your key in hand so you can open the door immediately when you return to your vehicle.
  • Check that no one is hiding in or around your vehicle before you get in.
  • If a van has parked next to your vehicle, enter it on the other side.
  • Lock the doors immediately after getting in your vehicle.
  • Ask a co-worker or security guard to escort you to your vehicle if you are uncomfortable about walking alone. Or wait until more people are around.
  • Don’t leave your home keys on a chain with your vehicle keys when you use valet parking. Also, don’t leave your garage door opener where it is easily accessible. Keep your vehicle registration, proof of insurance, and any other papers with your home address on them where a criminal is not likely to find them.
  • Don't resist or argue with a carjacker. Your life is much more valuable than your vehicle. Be especially alert when parking at fast food places, gas stations, ATMs, and shopping areas along suburban highways.