City to install security cameras in Mechanics Row garage

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AUBURN — The city will install security cameras on every level of the Mechanics Row parking garage beginning next week in an effort to stop vandalism there.

“We’ve had slashed tires, broken windows and sometimes people have had their vehicles keyed,” said Tracey Steuber, Auburn’s community relations and business specialist. “We’ve even had it happen to some cars in the city fleet.”

The 430-space garage is located behind Auburn Hall on the lot between Main Street and Mechanics Row. It has five levels and opened in 2002.

The city sells permits to downtown businesses allowing them to park in sections of the garage. Steuber said that $79,000 collected from the sale of those permits will be used to put up security cameras.

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“We’re hoping that the cameras will be enough of a deterrent to stop people from vandalizing cars,” she said. “On the other hand, the police will be able to use the cameras to actually catch the culprits.”

Crews from Portland’s Protection One will begin installing the cameras Monday, March 15, and people who use the garage should plan on several spaces being closed each day until the end of the month. Crews are scheduled to install conduit and wire for the cameras for two weeks. They should install the cameras on March 29, 30 and 31.

Steuber said the cameras will be monitored by the Auburn Police Department.

Parking spaces along the inside wall of the garage will be closed on all levels during the installation, she said.  The city will put reminders on cars parked in the lot before work begins and use tape to block spaces.

“But sometimes, people ignore the signs and the warnings,” Steuber said. “But we will tow cars that are in the way of the workers.”

These will be the first security cameras the city has installed.

staylor@sunjournal.com

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