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June 3rd, 2015

Criminal Activity at Parking Garages in Philadelphia

Philadelphia Parking Garage Security Issues – The Risk of Criminal Activity

Criminal activity is very common in parking garages and lots in Pennsylvania, especially in large cities like Philadelphia. This is due to the nature of parking garages and lots, which are often unsecured properly and contain plenty of dark, isolated places. In addition, parking garage customers obviously have cash or credit cards in hand, ready to make payment. Unsuspecting customers aren’t always paying attention to their surroundings. It’s a perfect storm for criminal activity like robberies, assaults, etc.

In one recent, high profile case, a Philadelphia woman was robbed and sexually assaulted when she returned to her car at a large parking garage in Center City, Philadelphia. The crime occurred during broad daylight and lasted 20 minutes before the victim bravely escaped and flagged down a car.

Automated Pay Systems May Increase the Risk of Crime at Parking Garages and Lots

Perpetrators will loiter in and near parking garages and lots, waiting for the chance to commit a crime. This is especially true for parking garages and lots with automated pay systems.

Many parking garages and lots in Philadelphia use automated pay kiosks and machines which alleviate the need for employees. This increases the risk of criminal activity. Criminals are more likely to commit crimes when they know there is decreased security. Without employees on the premises, parking garages and lots are perfect targets.

More: Pennsylvania Injury Lawsuits – Criminal Assaults & Shootings in Public Places (Malls, Shopping Centers & Stores)

Personal Security Tips – When Alone in a Parking Garage or Lot

It’s important to remember that Philadelphia has one of the highest crime rates in the country. If you’re alone in a parking lot, no matter what time of day it is, you should know that a criminal may be lurking around. This is especially true on days when overall traffic is low, such as during the day, late at night, etc. Peak times for parking garages during the work week are mornings, before 10 a.m., and during rush hour (3:00 to 7:00 p.m.). Criminal activity is less likely to occur at peak times.

  1. Pay attention to your surroundings. Avoid walking near dark, isolated areas. If possible, park in well lit areas. Park closest to the elevators/stairs when parking on upper levels.
  2. Use the buddy system. Have a friend wait for your call after you’ve safely exited the garage.
  3. Talk loudly on your cell phone when getting off elevators and walking to your car.
  4. Have keys in hand. The longer it takes for you to find your keys and open your car door, the greater the chances of becoming a victim of crime.
  5. Trust your instincts. Oftentimes, victims of crime report feeling uneasy moments before a crime actually occurs. If you’re feeling uneasy when you’re about to step off the elevator in a parking garage, don’t get off. Instead, take the elevator back down to the first floor and wait until you’re with other customers. You can also ask an employee to walk you to your car.

For more information, visit our premises liability law library for articles about security and crime.