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Ask 13: Why don't Asheville parking garages have more security cameras?

Karen Womack of Flat Rock is worried about safety after she said a friend was mugged in the Wall Street parking garage in downtown Asheville. She said her friend suffered a concussion and lost his wallet and cash. But to her and her friend's surprise, she said there was no security camera to catch the incident. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

Asheville's downtown parking garages are a convenient place to park when the streets are crowded, but one local worries they might not be the safest place to park.

Karen Womack of Flat Rock is worried about safety after she said a friend was mugged in a parking garage. She said her friend suffered a concussion and lost his wallet and cash.

But to her and her friend's surprise, she said there was no security camera to catch the incident.

"He suffered a long period of amnesia after being struck. So, not likely anyone will ever be caught," Womack wrote. "Are there really no cameras in the parking garages? If not, then why not?"

Karen said the incident happened in July at the Wall Street parking garage. News 13 checked it out and found that the garage does have some security cameras.

The city said cameras are used at all of their garages, but only at the exit lanes and payment lanes or at pay booths. That means most of the garage is not under surveillance.

So, why isn't more of the garage under surveillance?

"Historically, we've not had an extensive experience with violent incidents in city parking garages," Asheville Communications Specialist Polly McDaniel explained. "It is extremely rare to have any type of assault or robberies reported in the garages. Occasionally, there are property crimes, mainly breaking and entering of vehicles in the garages. Parking services has roving security guards assigned to all four of the city's parking garages."

McDaniel said Parking Services had several companies evaluate the city garages for security cameras, but the cost turned out to be cost prohibitive.

If you have a question you'd like answered, write to Ask13@wlos.com.

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