VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Officials posted new signs in parking garages at Virginia Beach Town Center Friday, hoping to detour criminals.
This comes after 14 vehicles were vandalized over the Christmas holiday weekend: nine in the parking garage under the Westin and five in the parking garage under the Cosmopolitan.
Residents told 10 On Your Side they want cameras on all levels in these garages because they feel like it is the only deterrent for criminals. 10 On Your Side learned Friday, there are no plans to make changes.
“I’m more worried about it progressing into something like an assault,” resident Robert Allen Jr. said. “I think it’s going to be a continual problem because security is not being addressed properly.”
What residents find even more frustrating than what they call a lack of security is that some of them pay upwards of $60 per month for reserved parking spaces.
Robert Hudome, the project development manager for the Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development, said all five parking garages are well lit with cameras at the entrances and exits, but there are no cameras on the upper levels.
“This incident on December 27 was, we feel, an isolated act of vandalism,” Hudome said.
But Hudome admits there was only one guard from Admiral Security patrolling.
10 On Your Side him how just that one security guard could be held accountable for making sure the whole parking garage is safe.
“Again, it’s a roving security,” Hudome replied. “You can’t have security everywhere at all times, so we do feel that the coverage is adequate.”
Hudome said having more security comes down to money. He said funding for the the operation, maintenance and security of the garages comes from a special property tax paid only by owners in Town Center.
“So, we only have a finite amount of money to work with, and we have to allocate that to the resources we feel are appropriate,” Hudome said.
10 On Your Side was there Friday as crews posted new signs in the garages — an additional step Virginia Beach is taking to help prevent things like acts of vandalism, Hudome said.
There is a meeting planned for Tuesday between police, Town Center officials and Admiral Security to discuss the security concerns.