The Bureau of Justice Statistics has stated that over 1 in 10 property crimes occur in parking garages or parking lots. Georgia residents should know that the first step they should take in order to avoid becoming victims themselves is to increase awareness. They should not walk to their vehicle while texting or being distracted in some other way.

If possible, residents should shop during the daylight hours and park in a lot with an attendant. Thieves normally lurk at night (not just to hide in the darkness but also because fewer people shop at night) and in areas where no one is standing watch. Park as close as possible to the entrance.

It is best to avoid using cash. Second, leave all flashy jewelry and accessories at home. The more well-dressed one is, the more likely he or she will be targeted. Valuables like laptops, GPS systems and purses should be hidden under the seat or in the trunk. Even keeping the garage door opener out can entice thieves.

Residents should remember where they parked, taking a picture of the parking spot if necessary. Before returning to their car, they should have their keys out. These could be used as a weapon, along with pepper spray on the key chain. Go back inside the store at the sight of any suspicious characters.

Some property-related incidents are preventable accidents. For example, someone may be the victim of theft because the property owner did not provide adequate security. If there is a clear case of negligence, the victim may be able to file a premises liability claim. It might be a good idea to see a lawyer for a case evaluation before moving forward with one. Personal injury lawyers may have networks of professionals who can gather proof of negligence before the lawyers proceed to negotiations.