5 Ways to Avoid Parking Lot Assaults

5 Ways to Avoid Parking Lot Assaults

Earlier this year, a friend of mine finished her shopping at a grocery store. As she returned to her vehicle, a group of four men approached her in the parking lot from four different angles. They pretended to be interested in selling her perfume, but the angle and location of their approach told her otherwise. 5 Ways to Avoid Parking Lot Assaults
5 Ways to Avoid Parking Lot AssaultsSensing the imminent danger, she activated the panic button on her vehicle’s remote control. Her car alarm responded swiftly, emitting a highly audible noise that pierced the air. The men instantly scrambled to their car and sped away from the scene.
Had she not been aware of her surroundings and held her car keys in her hand, my friend might not have survived the terrifying situation. 5 Ways to Avoid Parking Lot Assaults

Here are five tips to stay safe while in a parking lot: 5 Ways to Avoid Parking Lot Assaults

  • Park your vehicle in a well-lit, fully visible location. When you exit a store, if your vehicle’s visibility is blocked by another vehicle, ask a store employee for assistance with taking your groceries to your car.
  • Before you exit the store, have your car keys in hand. Keep your thumb on the panic button as you walk to your vehicle. If you encounter trouble, press the panic button, or scream for help if you don’t have one. Don’t worry about what will happen if you activate the alarm only to discover afterward that the situation wasn’t dangerous. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
  • Stay aware of your surroundings at all times. Don’t fiddle with your phone or peruse your receipt while walking to your car. Criminals look for oblivious prey, and someone who isn’t aware of his or her surroundings makes an easier target.
  • If while walking to your car you notice one or more suspicious individuals lingering near it, turn around and walk back into the store. Ask a store employee for help taking your groceries to your car. 5 Ways to Avoid Parking Lot Assaults
  • When you leave the store, if something about your surroundings causes you to feel uncomfortable, don’t ignore that feeling. Go back into the store and ask an employee for help taking your groceries to your car.

Criminals Capitalize on Opportunity

Criminals typically look for opportunities to take what they want while minimizing their chances of getting caught. Following the five tips above will decrease your chance of becoming a victim, but they won’t completely eliminate it. If someone attacks you in the parking lot, do whatever you must to get away safely. Give the person your wallet, car keys, jewelry or any other possessions demanded of you and call the police afterward. Things can be replaced, but the same isn’t true of your life. Protect it so your family and friends can enjoy your company for many years to come.
By Rod Spurgeon

About the Author

Rod Spurgeon

Rod Spurgeon is a professional writer, editor, and photographer. He writes a weekly column at ownyourdefense.net, is a content contributor at senior.com, and is the author of several science fiction novels and novellas.
 
He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Global Business from Arizona State University and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Phoenix, and also received an Honorable Mention from PR News Daily’s 2015 Nonprofit PR Awards.
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