"Carjacking" refers to the robbery of a motorist in which their vehicle is stolen. Motorist are vulnerable to this type of crime when they stop at traffic control devices, when entering or exiting their vehicles, and just about anytime they stop their vehicle. Awareness and planning can help you avoid becoming a victim of this type of crime.
What you can do to protect yourself
Before You Go...
- Select a safe route. Well lit and well traveled streets are generally safest.
- Have an alternate route in mind in case of problems.
- Keep your vehicle in good repair and be aware of your fuel level, always keep your tank at least half full.
- Travel with a friend when possible - a person alone is more vulnerable.
- Keep doors locked and windows up.
- Keep valuables out of view.
- Keep your car key separate from your house keys.
- Don't leave vehicle registration, mail, bills or other items with your home address in the vehicle.
- Be aware of activity around you, especially people on foot near your vehicle.
- Be suspicious of people approaching your vehicle for change, directions, handing out flyers, etc.
- If someone asks for assistance (stalled vehicle, etc.) do not get out of your vehicle. Go to a safe location and call the police.
- Travel in the lane closest to the center of the road whenever legally possible.
- Leave plenty of room between your vehicle and other vehicles to allow yourself a way out.
- Park in well lit and well traveled areas.
- Look around for suspicious persons and possible hiding places (darkened doorways, etc.) before turning off your engine.
- If in doubt, do not get out of your vehicle. Drive away and park someplace else. Report any suspicious activity to police immediately.
- Lock your car and take your keys with you - even for brief errands.
- Be especially cautious when using automated teller machines.
Returning To Your Vehicle...
- Be aware of persons loitering near your vehicle.
- Be aware of any tampering which may have been done to your parked vehicle.
- If you think your vehicle has been tampered with, do not get in it. Notify police immediately.
If You Become A Victim...
We strongly caution that resisting or attempting to flee may place you in great danger. Your personal safety - not the potential loss of property - must always remain the primary concern! In many cases the robber has displayed or threatened the use of a firearm and therefore may have the ability to inflict serious injury or death. Submission and surrender of the property is usually the most reasonable course of action.
Remember... never assume your vehicle can stop a bullet. Resistance to the robber's demands may escalate the situation and increase the risk of personal harm to you. Avoid reckless heroics. Such actions may endanger you and innocent bystanders. Your best course of action is to plan ahead and be prepared for all possible situations.