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From parking garages to gyms, police provide guidance to general public about personal safety

BRENTWOOD, MO  - A recent carjacking prompted residents in Brentwood to ask for personal safety guidance.

The response: A citizens’ safety seminar. Even though crime in Brentwood is rare, and even though the stolen vehicle in the carjacking was recovered Brentwood Police Chief Col. Joseph Spiess said one can never be too aware.

“Even in a safe community like Brentwood, things like this are happening,” Spiess said. “Crime is very transient now.”

In the case of the carjacking, four men approached a woman in Brentwood Forest and carjacked her on a weekday morning.

The car was recovered the next day.

Spiess noted an uptick in car break-ins across the country. What is of note, he said, is that break-ins are resulting in more violent crimes, likely due to the fact that cars are more difficult to steal.

“The manufacturers of vehicles, through technology, limit the availability of using a screwdriver to steal your car.  So now, you need the keys to drive off in a car. That has led to an increase in carjackings of armed robberies of people in their cars,” Spiess said.

In response to residents’ requests, the Brentwood Police Department will host another citizens safety seminar. Spiess said the event will address safety in common settings.

“Garages, gyms, places that perhaps puts in them in a position that they could be victimized. Those are areas that are historically have been prone to violent occurrences. Because they’re easy ambush spots,” Spiess said.

Earlier this summer, there were two incidents in Brentwood involving drivers either robbed or assaulted in parking garages.

Charges were filed against the suspected attackers.

Spiess said the seminar will provide guidance on awareness and how to respond to physical threats.

“As an example of the training, we talk to people about where they park, how they can approach their own cars they go out, how to be aware and look around and make sure that they’re safe,” Spiess said.

Residents said they are grateful for the guidance.

“I think that’s an excellent idea,” Elizabeth Herring said. “I think a lot of people aren’t aware, in this area, that something could happen. A lot of people still don’t know what happened – the carjacking.”

The Citizens Safety Seminar will take place Monday, August 27 from 6-7:30 pm at the Brentwood Recreation Complex, located at 2505 South Brentwood Boulevard. The event is free and open to the public.