Follow these tips to avoid vulnerability when you're using a parking lot alone.

General Tips for Parking Lots

Take the time to observe your parking lot for a few moments before you leave your car and again before you return to your car. People often walk to and from their cars totally consumed by their thoughts, and parking lot criminals are usually opportunists who look for the easiest person to victimize. They will pretend to talk on the telephone or watch from inside a car. Most victims have said that they never saw the criminal approach.

Safety Tips While Walking

  • Before you exit your car or building, check your surroundings for suspicious looking people.
  • Walk confidently and briskly.
  • Scan the area around your car as you approach. If you see someone loitering around your vehicle, walk past until they leave.
  • Consider changing from high heels to flats or even sneakers when leaving work.
  • Approach your vehicle with your keys already in your hand.
  • If a suspicious person approaches, change directions, go to a place where there are people or yell at him to stop following you, without stopping to confront him.
  • Use the buddy system when walking to your car or contact security for an escort.
  • Check your backseat before entering your car.

To Reduce Your Exposure To Theft Remember These Tips

  • Remove all interior valuables from plain view.
  • Remove all traces of a GPS device. The GPS rack or suction cup marks on the windshield could entice a thief to break in and check your console or under your seat for the GPS device.
  • Lock your doors and roll up all windows.
  • Use a highly visible steering wheel locking device.
  • Use a car alarm and alarm decals, if available.

Crime prevention is everyone’s responsibility. Report suspicious activity to UMUC Security or the police immediately.