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Syracuse Police offer parking lot safety tips in light of Destiny USA incident

Syracuse Police offered a series of tips for people in parking lots in light of an incident in which a suspect threatened to stab a woman with a hypodermic needle while robbing her Saturday night.
Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – Syracuse Police offered a series of tips for people in parking lots in light of an incident in which a suspect threatened to stab a woman with a hypodermic needle while robbing her Saturday night.

Police noted that incidents like the one that reportedly happened in the Destiny USA parking lot are rare.

Police are still looking for the suspect in the incident, which occurred in the Purple lot at the mall around 8:20 p.m. on Saturday night.

According to police, the mall will be increasing their presence.

Parking Lot Safety Tips:
  • Have a plan rehearsed in your head of what you will do in the event of an attack.
  • When possible wear shoes and clothing that will not hinder an escape. Sneakers are best and shoes with low heels are your second best. Keep a pair in the car if you are going to be out on your way home from work. If you wear high heels and are pursued, kick them off and run barefoot.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Watch for suspicious people or activities.
  • Park in highly visible, well lit areas. Avoid parking near shrubbery or the side of vans that has the slide open doors. Back in to the space if possible. (Near the elevator, if possible in a parking garage).
  • Always carefully note where you parked so you don't spend unnecessary time walking around a parking lot.
  • Do not present yourself as an easy target. Try not to carry a lot of packages.
  • Walk confidently and with a purpose and observe those around you. If you notice someone hanging around your car or acting suspiciously return to the store. Assertive body language can help prevent an attack. Keep your head up.
  • Have all of your attention and effort dedicated to your surroundings and walking to your vehicle. Turn off your cell phone, have your keys in your hand so you are not searching for them while you walk. Keep vehicle key separate from other keys. Attach a whistle with the vehicle key.
  • Walk to your vehicle in pairs or in a group.
  • As you approach your car, look under and around it. Before getting in your car look in the back seat and on the floor.
  • If you feel that you are being followed, walk or run quickly to a lighted store or where crowds of people can offer help if needed. Know where to go for help-police station, fire house, etc. Do not go home.
  • Do anything you can to draw attention. Don't be embarrassed. Scream, yell or blow your whistle. Honk the car horn.
  • If you carry a purse, don't dangle it by your side so that a thief can run by you and grab it. Carry your purse close to your body, preferably in front.
Police are still trying to find the suspect from the Purple Lot incident.

The suspect is described as being a white male in his 20s, 6 feet tall, and weighing about 175 pounds. He was last seen wearing a black jacket and blue jeans.

If anyone has any information, they are asked to call Syracuse Police at 442-5222. All information will be kept confidential.

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