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Property crimes often occur in parking lots and garages

Georgia residents may not be aware that more than 10 percent of property crimes, which range in severity from petty larceny and vandalism to armed robbery and extortion, take place in parking garages or lots, according to data from Bureau of Justice Statistics. Building owners and property managers are expected to take all reasonable precautions to keep their visitors safe and address hazardous situations promptly. However, visitors can also take steps to reduce their chances of becoming a crime victim.

Criminals tend to be more active at night or in quiet unlit areas. Therefore, building visitors may be wise to conduct their business during the daylight hours to avoid dark and deserted parking lots and garages. Property owners can do their part to improve safety by replacing faulty light bulbs quickly and ensuring that all garages are under video surveillance or regularly patrolled by security guards. Hiring a dedicated parking attendant can also deter criminals and reassure visitors.

In addition to conducting their business during the daytime, visitors can reduce their chances of being robbed or assaulted by choosing where to park carefully and remaining vigilant as they return to their vehicles. Car keys should be out and ready to avoid late fumbling, and checking text messages or social media posts should be put off until the danger has passed.

Personal injury attorneys may study crime reports carefully when preparing to initiate premises liability litigation. Building owners are expected to take action when dangers are predictable or known, and evidence that others were injured or became crime victims could be used to establish that hazards were either understood or foreseeable and should have been addressed.

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