Earlier this year, two men were caught on a gas station security feed performing a "bump-and-run" carjacking
. Home security tips are expanding to encompass car security as the criminals are still at large.
There have been many methods of carjackings over the years. D.C.'s recent carjackings have used the bump-and-run
car jacking scheme, in which carjackers rear-end another vehicle. When the victim steps out to inspect the damage, the carjackers make their move and drive away with the targeted car.
This scenario used by carjackers preys on the basic instincts of drivers to check on their property after an accident. In these instances, it's recommended to remain inside the locked vehicle and phone 911. Be sure to wait for an officer to arrive before exiting the vehicle. This approach worked for a woman who was a victim of a group of bump-and-run carjackers. Her refusal to exit the vehicle dissuaded the would-be carjackers and led them to give up and drive away in their own car.
Though this response will hopefully deter carjackers
, it's important to remember that they may be carrying weapons. If any weapons are present in the confrontation, exit the vehicle and contact police. Never remain in the vehicle if it can be helped. Try to keep a potential carjacking from elevating to a hostage situation by being smart and letting go of the car.
Practicing the basics
Locking the car as soon as you get inside is one of the simplest safety car procedures can be easily overlooked. You may check your phone, straighten out your wallet or perform any number of tasks. However, these quick tasks are windows of opportunity for carjackers to approach your vehicle and open the door. Always lock the doors as quickly as possible and drive away. Anything else you may have to do can wait.
When parking in a lot, be wary of your surroundings and try to avoid parking next to large vans. Kidnappers and thieves can open and close the van's doors quickly. Look for parking spots that offer a view into the surrounding vehicles to ensure that you're well-aware of your environment.
Personal security can be difficult when you or your loved ones are outside the home. Always remember that material possessions are far below the value of lives. Exercise caution and safety measures where possible and know the best procedures for confrontation so that you and your loved ones will be safe.