Posted on November 26, 2010 at 7:34 AM
Carjackers are some of the most violent criminals around today. Instead of stealing parked cars, these criminals are paid more money to steal yours while you are still in it. Even if you voluntarily give up your vehicle, the situation could turn ugly. Take a few precautions to keep yourself from being the next target.
Carjacking has something in common with other crimes – criminals look for easy prey. Men and women are both victims of carjacking. Gender is not necessarily the issue, but instead it’s all about body language. As long as the victim has a gun, they aren’t even scared of male drivers. Here are six precautions everyone should know and take to avoid being easy prey for carjackers
1. Know Your Surroundings – This point can’t be stressed enough. In this world today, you don’t know who may be watching you. With carjackers, they are always looking for victims who aren’t paying attention. When you go to the mall, avoid parking next to vans with sliding doors or parking in parking decks. Keep your doors locked at all times when you are in the car. As you exit the car, do so quickly without fumbling for keys or talking on the cell phone.
2. Keep Your Arms Free – Carjackers look for people carrying many bags on their arms or talking on the cell phone. Both will distract you from seeing if someone is following you or waiting by your car. When you approach your car have your keys in hand. Actually, place your key between your fingers with the end of the key pointing out. This is a defensive action that MIGHT deter a criminal but don’t count on it to be a sure bet. Walk tall and look all around as you approach your car.
3. Don’t Be a Hero – If you are approached by one or more people and they ask for your keys, drop them on the ground and run away. A car is just property and not worth your life.
4. Stay in Well Lit Areas – Like all criminals, carjackers operate best in the dark or in isolated areas where no one is about. Avoid dimly lit streets at night. Stay in places where there is a crowd of people. When walking back to your car, wait to continue any conversations until you are safely in the car. Talking to friends can create enough of a distraction for an attack to take place.
5. Keep Your Distance – Many carjackers attack at stop lights. Make sure you keep plenty of distance between you and the car in front of or behind you at traffic lights. If you are too close to the car in front of you, it will be hard to maneuver to get away. Also, some carjackers use their car to block you in and then jump out and steal your car. Stay at least a car length away from another car.
6. Drive Away Right Away – When you get into your car, don’t dawdle. Lock the door as soon as you get in and start the car. It helps to back into parking spaces so you can make a quick escape if needed. Backing out of a space slows you down and can give a carjacker time to approach you.
Carjackers don’t discriminate. Anyone could be a victim. Use these above tips to avoid being their next victim.