Sitting in your car waiting for a friend to come out of an apartment complex, you would think there would be no danger to worry about. That was not the case for three teens in Sioux Falls last week.

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According to Dakota News Now, three 17-year-olds were sitting in a car in the parking lot of an apartment complex in southeast Sioux Falls on Friday afternoon. They were waiting for a friend to come out when three men suddenly approached the car, one of whom had a gun. The armed man got in the car with the teens and took their cell phones.

No one was injured in the incident. The victims were not able to give a good description of the thief.

Sitting in a familiar place can still put you in danger if the wrong person happens to come by. According to WebMD.com, there are several things you can do to be safe in a parking lot.

  • Park your car in brightly lit areas.

  • Don’t park near large trucks or vans, dumpsters, or anything that can limit your visibility.

  • If you’re using a commercial garage, find one that has attendants.

  • Don’t leave valuables in plain view. Put them in the trunk or take them with you. Even in areas that you think are safe, don’t leave your valuables on the seat unattended.

  • Before you get out of your car, have a look around.

  • Remember where you parked so you don’t spend time wandering around the parking lot.

  • When walking to your car, be alert and walk purposefully.

  • Be wary of people asking for directions or handing out flyers. If you’re approached, head in another direction.

  • Stay away from your car if there’s someone lurking around it.

  • Hold your keys in your hand. Be ready to unlock your car and get in quickly.

  • Take a quick look around you and inside your car before you get in.

  • Once you get in, lock your doors.

No one wants to think this way, but the best way to avoid situations like this is to always be aware of everything going on around you as much as possible.

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