Last-minute shoppers concerned over dark parking lots

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - People in Central Bakersfield are finishing some of their last-minute holiday shopping in the dark.  A few light fixtures are out at the Bakersfield Plaza causing concern for shoppers.

"It could use a little bit more lighting," said holiday shopper Justin Andreotti who is one of many people who noticed the darkness.

Several light fixtures outside stores like Hobby Lobby and Burlington Coat Factory at the Bakersfield Plaza are out, and putting people on high alert.

"You never know who can jump out at you and take your merchandise," he said.

An employee and manager at Hobby Lobby say they did not know about the lights.  Another employee at Burlington Coat Factory said he spoke with his manager who didn't know about the darkness.  That manager contacted 23abc and said he was aware of the lights being out and they are currently being worked on.

"I figured they forgot to turn the lights on.  It's a little scary when there's no lights out here," said Bruce and Concha Barker of Bakersfield.

Crime Prevention Specialist say if you're shopping in area that is dark always keep your car doors locked and windows up.  They also suggest not leaving any packages or valuables in plan sight.  

"When we first came here, my thought was let me try to park close to the front of the store.  I'm sure a lot of people will have things in their car they are concerned about so extra lighting is probably helpful," said holiday shopper, Brian Jackson.

"I try to shop during the day, and always aware of my surroundings," said Tara Garlick of Bakersfield.

If you do go shopping in the dark, always remember to park in a spot where there are lights and have your keys ready prior to walking to your car.

"There's a lot of unemployment and people are looking to get stuff for their family, and if that's the way they have to do it, that's what they are going to do," said Andreotti.

Crime Prevention Specialist also say if you're worried about walking to your car in the dark, just ask a manager at any retail store or even a store security for an escort back to your car.


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