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Old December 8th, 2003, 08:38 AM
mickstr68
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Default Dangerous Parking in Tampa!

Hello-

Just got back from my week on the Inspiration! The cruise was very good and would have been awesome if the seas had not been rough- several water excursions had to be cancelled due to dangerous seas and surf.

However I want to warn everyone who will park in Tampa not to leave anything of value (Nothing!) in your car while on your cruise, not even something as simple as a spare set of keys. 33 cars were broken into while we were at sea. Every one of these cars were parked in the 24 hour secured port parking garage! Everyone who's car was broken into was called to the pursers desk at debarkation where we learned the news. Some people had lost spare sets of keys to their houses and businesses along with secondary ID's. How scary is that! Knowing that some has your address and a set of keys to your house! And not knowing if your house has been broken into or not.

Back to the parking garage. Even after this incident the garage management insisted to us that the garage was 24 hour secured and that the theives just found a way around their security. There were no cameras. We were all parked on the third floor and the garage is all concrete so echos flow easliy through the building. The only ways into the garage are walking past the people that give you the parking ticket or through the elevator- which has no camera.

So I asked the parking garage rep, if this is a 24 hour secured area, how is it that 33 car windows were able to be broken and no one heard anything suspicious? The rep claimed to me the a car window could easily been broken and not heard on the first floor. I disagreed with him but accepted his answer. As he was waling away I asked him, "then could you tell me this. How is it that my car and probably at least 50% of the others had alarms that went off when this occurred an noone still check into it". His answer to me was first "How do you know alarms would have gone off?" I proved it to him by setting my alarm again and letting him nudge my car (the alarm went off). His answer to me is what I had expected "I don't know".

All the while security was driving around the third floor parking garage in golf carts. Now I'm really getting mad because you know that this is all just a smoke show for us victims. Letting us see that the staff does patrol the garage but obviously not at the right time in our minds. I can see how a hanfull of cars could be broken into without security noticing anything- but 33? That's outrageous!

Now- this is what was done about it- the Parking garage offered our money back from the parking fee, which is paid up front and they replaced our windows that were busted. However, each car had more damage done to it then just the window being replaced and you know the parking garage will not pay to fix those damages either. Or to match window tints etc. In my car the window they installed rubs the track horrible when it goes up and the remaining power windows do not work- they won't go down at all. There is interior damage because of the tools the theives were using.

Now to be further fair to the parking garage, this had happened at several parking garages on the same day in Tampa. However, when a place advertises to be 24 hour secured parking, at $70 for the week, don;t you think you would get just that? I will say again, I can understand how a handful of cars could be broken into and not noticed, but 33 is beyond excessive.

So in closing, It's all common sense, but don't leave anything of value in your car when you are paking it in the Port of Tampa's parking garage or any port for that matter! I only lost a small amount of cash but others lost keys and Id's and probably worried a couple of years off their lives on the way home wondering if someone used those keys to break into their homes also. Or the id's for identity theft, or credit cards , etc, etc, etc

Ron Piper
Mickstr68@aol.com
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old December 8th, 2003, 08:58 AM
cassiegray
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Default Re: Dangerous Parking in Tampa!

My sympathies to you Mick. Its bad enough coming back from vacation but to find your car windows smashed makes it worse. The facts you point out - noise of the windows being cracked open and the sound of the car alarms - indicate someone was sleeping on the job, and pretty soundly too. It must have taken awhile to do 33 cars. Glad we're flying but that has its own built in hazards too. Hope your personal insurance takes care of the damage.

We don't get much info at this site on the Inspiration. Some of us are booked on her in January. When you are settled at home and have your car problem settled, write back and let us know in detail about the ship and the cruise: service, food, accomodations, entertainment.
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