Vehicle Robbery, "Carjacking" Prevention
Vehicle robbery is by no means a new crime, nor is it sweeping the nation in epidemic proportions. Vehicle owners have been victims of this crime for decades. The term "carjacking" was coined by the news media. The term has raised fear levels out of proportion with the actual probability of becoming a victim. Realistically, this is a crime of low probability, but potentially high consequences.
Being the victim of a "carjacking" can be dangerous, even deadly. Experts theorize improvements in vehicle alarm systems, locking devices, and other anti-car theft technology have made it more difficult to steal cars using traditional, surreptitious methods. Now suspects take the vehicle, keys, and other items of value from the victim while the victim is present.
"Carjackings" can happen anywhere; in a parking lot, on a street or freeway, or in one’s own driveway. Never wait for a potentially dangerous situation to occur. Follow your instincts.
Be aware of what is going on around you; the people, the total environment. Street criminals prefer to avoid people displaying this demeanor. Following is a list of things to do to reduce the risk of becoming a "carjacking" victim:
Vehicle Robbery Prevention - You Can Make The Difference
- Keep doors locked and windows up;
- When stopped, leave room to maneuver and escape;
- Be wary of strangers approaching you. Trust your instincts and drive away when you feel threatened;
- Keep valuables out of sight;
- Park in lots or garages with attendants;
- Park in well-lighted areas;
- Park in the open. Never let a high profile vehicle or truck hide a robber;
- Be aware of your surroundings when walking to and from your vehicle;
- Walk with other people when possible;
- Approach your vehicle with your key in hand;
- Look in and around your car before entering; and
- If you suspect you are being followed, immediately drive to a police, sheriff or fire station or to busy area;
- DO NOT drive home
- In both cases, write down the license number and description of the suspects. If you are involved in a suspicious traffic accident, do not inspect the damage in a remote area. Motion for the other driver to follow you to the nearest police station or busy, well-lighted location to exchange information. Use your emergency flashers at the same time.
- If you get robbed, give up your vehicle and leave the scene immediately. Do everything you can to avoid being kidnapped.
- Consider having a vehicle tracking system installed in your vehicle. Your vehicle can be tracked immediately and an arrest or recovery of property is more likely.
- Consider installing an alarm system that will shut down the vehicle engine after a few seconds or minutes. This allows the "carjacker" to drive away until the engine turns off. The suspect will abandon the vehicle when it fails to restart.
There are many preparatory actions one can take to prevent "carjacking." Behavior Modification and mental preparedness are key to its prevention. This information is meant to contribute to your personal security, in and around your vehicle. You can never be too careful, prepared or aware.