Parking Lot Safety - From Belongings to People, Things at Risk

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - "It was last Christmas I had my cell phone stolen. It was just in the cup holder of the front seat of my car." says Bryan Haskins, who knows from personal experience how something most all of us do all of the time can lead to theft that can cost big bucks.

Potential criminals are always looking for an easy steal, like CDs in the console, sunglasses in the cup holder or a purse behind a seat. And purses were a thing we saw plenty of in vacant cars

While locking the door is always a good idea, that won't always stop the determined, says Patrol Officer Susan Gray of Jonesboro Police. "Its very common that a thief will knock out a window to get to people's belongings. It only takes a second for a criminal to break out a window and take the packages out."

Patrol Officer Gray suggests a few tips to avoid making your car a target:

  • Always lock the door
  • Never leave valuables behind, especially in the open
  • Put valuables in a locked container, like the trunk
  • Use common sense

And while the safety of your belongings is definitely important, police say the parking lot can be a dangerous place for a person under the wrong circumstances.

"A woman by herself would probably be the most likely target a person would choose." adds Patrol Officer Gray.

Gray says people can keep from being targets by shopping in pairs but as with your belongings, always be aware of your surroundings. If at all possible, try to avoid shopping on busy days like the weekends. Go to stores sometime during the week to steer clear of the huge traffic.

And for those potential criminals, bars might be in you future.