Carjacking Information and Prevention
Tips to avoid becoming a victim
- Be aware of your surroundings and stay alert. Check your mirrors and keep your head on a swivel.
- When approaching your vehicle, have your keys in your hand ready to enter.
- Once your reach your vehicle, unlock, quickly enter, then re-lock the doors. Get the vehicle moving as soon as you can.
- Trust your instincts: If you “feel” something is wrong, turn around and leave the area.
- When stopped in traffic, take special care if anyone approaches your vehicle. Sound your horn to attract attention if approached by a suspicious person.
- Do not leave your vehicle running while unattended for any reason. Remove the keys and take them with you. Do not leave your car running even if you take the key fob with you. Most vehicles utilizing push-button ignitions and key fobs can still be driven even without the key fob inside the vehicle!
- Keep your doors locked upon entry and your windows rolled up.
- Avoid distractions like your cell phone, texting or other people in the vehicle.
- Drive in the center lane of a street (away from curbs and sidewalks)
- When stopped at a stop sign or traffic signal, always leave at least a vehicle length of space in front of your vehicle. If you have to make a quick getaway, you will be able to turn your wheel and maneuver without being boxed in.
- Always try to park in well-lit, heavily traveled areas, as close to your destination as possible.
- Carjackings often happen at gas stations, carwashes, and drive up ATMs where drivers are distracted and easily surprised by criminals.
- Be wary of people near your vehicle who ask for directions or money or other possible distractions. They may be working with a partner who will attempt to take your keys and your vehicle.
- Keep your purse, backpack, tablets, laptops and other valuables in the trunk or out of sight.
- Keep your cell phone in your pocket. If your vehicle is stolen, you will have a way of contacting 911.
- Be aware of the "bump" --- when a vehicle strikes you from behind to get you to pull over. If this happens, keep your doors locked and windows rolled up. Signal to the other driver to follow you to the nearest police or fire station or other well-lit populated area to call 911 and exchange information.
Safety tips in the event of a carjacking
If confronted by a carjacker, DO NOT RESIST!
Call 911 as soon as possible. Relay your license plate number as well as the color, make and model of your vehicle.
Pay special attention to:
- Vehicle Description of Other Involved Vehicles: License plate number, year, make, model, color or any noticeable features or damage
- Subject Description: Race, sex, age, height, weight, hair color, clothing or any noticeable features like tattoos or scars