Feb 4

Attempted Carjacking at Countryside Mall

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Countryside Mall was the scene of an attempted carjacking and/or robbery of a woman and her two small children Sunday. According to the Tampa Bay Times, about 1 p.m. Sunday, the woman had just arrived at the mall parking lot between JCPenney and Macy’s when an armed man pointed a silver or chrome handgun and demanded she hand over her car. When another car pulled into a nearby parking space, the gunman ran away on Countryside Boulevard.

There is no surveillance video of the attempted robbery, but Fox 13 has a video of the man inside the mall before the incident. Anyone with information can call the Clearwater Police Department at (727) 562-4242.

To reduce the risk of being a victim of a crime in a parking lot, here are a few tips from :

  1. Be choosy where you park. Park in a populated area instead of settling on one in a dark, remote location, especially if you are alone. If you can park close to someone who also is arriving at the same time as you, you can create a buddy system without the other person even knowing.
  2. Stay focused. Instead they are checking e-mail or making calls, look to your front, side, and rear when walking to and from your car.
  3. Keys in Your Hand. Keep your keys in your hand with the keys in between your fingers) just in case you need a weapon.
  4. Don’t dally. Walk like you have a purpose. Don’t wander, even if you don’t know where your car is. Once in your car, lock the doors immediately and drive off. Don’t sit and do other things. That will lessen the chance of you becoming a target.
  5. Beware of stranger danger. If you are approached or chased, yell or scream to get attention or go back to the store and alert security. If you are followed while driving, go to an open gas station or a populated area with plenty of light.

Being alert and cautious in the parking lot. It could save your life.

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