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Nobody Wants to be Responsible for Parking Lot Crime

Every time I drive I am aware of the risks involved: mechanical problems, accidents, falling trees, wayward pedestrians, and so on. My hope is that the odds will be in my favor. It’s the same when I park. I do what I can to park safely and in safe places. But I know there is no guarantee.

A rash of parking lot crime at a Marriott hotel in Orlando, Florida, inspired clickorlando.com to provide its readers with a list of ways to keep their cars safe this holiday season. Thanksgiving and Christmas travelers will be leaving their cars in airport lots for days, not to mention time spent in mall and hotel parking lots, and that gives criminals a lot of opportunities to make trouble.

In Orlando, the article reports, a hotel near the airport offers park and shuttle services for guests and non-guests. During the spring and summer, around 30 cars were vandalized. The hotel offered to pay for broken windows, but not stolen items. Naturally, car owners blame the hotel for their troubles, hotel management say it’s not their fault, and the bad guys walk away. Car owners think the fee they pay to park should cover security and damages, hotel management says their signs state they cannot be held responsible for theft, and the thieves laugh loud and long.

In most cases, when it comes to crime, the parking lot or hotel is not liable. Laws can vary state to state, but often, the operator of the lot only has to make reasonable steps to make the area safe. That can include posting lights or security patrols.

The article suggests car owners protect themselves by locking doors, parking near lighted areas, hide belongings, and keep their interiors clean. I lock my doors reflexively and repeatedly – it’s a little OCD thing I have going on. But if criminals are looking for messy cars to burglarize, mine’s nice and cluttered. They won’t find much besides miscellaneous papers and overdue library books, but there’s plenty to go around.

I think everybody involved is responsible, although mostly the crook, who obviously doesn’t care. At the end of the day, parking lot owners have to give it their best effort and car owners need to be prepare for the worst.

Read the article here.

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