Parked In A Mall and Got My Spare Tire Stolen

August 24, 2015 | Kristel Kaye Dequillo

First of all, I did not post this to bash the mall’s security – I am simply detailing this experience in an attempt to warn you all that these thieves are in desperate need for money, and we need to be extra extra cautious if want to avoid these things to happen. I let my guard down, and I learned the hard way that I shouldn’t have.

August 21, 2015 – I was up early to accompany a friend to meet up with her client. Aside from working in real estate, I am also working for an insurance company. The plan was to meet up at the clinic because the insurance company required for some lab tests the client must take.

So, I arrived there at about 10:30 AM, just a few minutes after my friend did. I parked about three or four cars away from the clinic’s door. I locked my car, went inside and we waited for her client.

After this, we still had to go to another doctor – just standard procedure and all. We decided to use one car (client’s) instead of driving separately to the doctor’s clinic. I left my car parked there, with the alarm on. At this point, I think I should tell you that my alarm is very sensitive. I find it both annoying and comforting, sometimes a little bit of the former more than the latter. Now, it’s just really disappointing. Failed me when I needed it most.

So after we get the doctor to sign some forms, we went back to get our cars, my friend’s and mine. I think I also need to mention how paranoid I am of losing my spare tire after my uncle got his stolen at another mall here in Bacolod. He was parking nose in, so my uncle deduced that a car, or possible a tricycle, double parked behind his car and stole his spare tire. They were able to destroy the lock plus the chain used to secure it.

Since then, I have always parked nose out, unless otherwise required or it would cause inconvenience to other drivers since I suck in parking nose in (yes, even after 4 years of driving) and on average, it would take me 4-5 times to get it right and sometimes I get really scared and just look for another parking spot. Meh.

Before I drove off to the mall, being the paranoid girl I was, I checked my spare just like I always do when I think I have not parked somewhere very secure – and it was still there, safe and sound.

I parked nose out straight from the entrance, about three cars away. I always park straight from the entrance because I can be forgetful and sometimes I forget where I park, so that is the strategy I developed.

I was in the mall for over three hours. It was raining hard and I was lucky that the rain stopped just in time for me to leave. When I got to my car, you would expect that I would have checked if my spare tire was still there right? But I didn’t. And that is what truly sucked. I let my guard down, got in the car and just drove off.

I discovered my tire was stolen when I was at a particular intersection where I stopped for the red light. Green light was on and I stepped on the gas and I heard this LOUD sound Ben (that’s my car’s name) was making. I drove a few more feet to pull over on the other side and I still couldn’t figure out what was going on. Did I get a flat tire? Perhaps its that metal part.  Was I scratching another car? 

If it wasn’t for the kind old man driving a red Sentra, I would have never known that the horrible, embarrassing sound was created by my spare tire holder/carrier that dropped because the screws were loosened and the lock was destroyed. It was scratching against the road, there you go. And my spare tire? Well, it wasn’t there anymore. Go figure.

Some people were kind to help me attach it back, so I was in the road again but after a few minutes it dropped again because the screw wasn’t tightened. It happened one more time before I decided to stay where I was and called my boyfriend to do something about it.

Overall, it was a horrible experience – one I don’t look forward to having again ever. I was terrified, and quite honestly and embarrassingly, on the verge of tears. This was not my best day.

So, what could I have done?

I could have taken my folk’s advice to transfer my spare in the compartment of my car instead of leaving it down there exposed. I could have put an enormous chain to secure it there. I could have parked somewhere else. I could have checked it before I left the mall premises.

But then I just can’t help but wonder, where were the security guards? Like I said my alarm was very sensitive and it should have went off. Perhaps it was the heavy rain. Perhaps mall parking lots with security guards are not as safe as I thought it would be. They might have connections with security guards for all I know. Desperate times call for desperate measures right?

But like I said in the beginning of this post, I’m not playing the blame game anymore as I have already passed that stage and really, in the end all there is to blame is me.

I hope this will serve as a warning to all of you to never let your guard down. Be mindful of where you park and remember that nowadays even mall parking lots are not safe anymore and spare tires are not cheap!

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