Reducing Your Vulnerability to Carjacking


Carjacking is a crime of opportunity - a thief searching for the most vulnerable prey. Sometimes it's the first step in another crime.  Though carjacking can occur anytime, most often occurring during the after dark and in the late night hours. Carjacking is a problem in that exists regardless of population density, occurring in large cities, suburbs, small towns, and rural areas. Carjackers look for opportunity. They don't choose victims by sex, race, or age.

Where are you most vulnerable?

  •   Intersections with stop lights or stop signs
  •   Parking garages and parking lots
  •   Self-serve gas stations
  •   Self-serve car wash
  •   ATMs (automated teller machines)
  •   Residential driveways and streets
  •   Highway exit and entry ramps
  •   Anyplace that drivers slow down or stop

Reducing Your Risk

Getting In

       Walk with purpose and stay alert.

       Approach your car with the key in hand.

       Look inside the car before getting in.

       Be wary of people asking for directions or handing out fliers.

       Trust your INSTINCTS! If something makes you feel uneasy, get into the car quickly, lock the doors, and drive away.

On the Road

       Keep your doors locked and windows rolled up, at least partway, no matter how short the distance or how safe the neighborhood.

       Make sure that passengers, especially children, have their doors locked as well.

       When you come to a stop, leave enough room to maneuver around other cars.

       Drive in the left lane if more than one lane is available to make it harder for would-be carjackers to approach the car.

       Don't stop to assist a stranger whose car is broken down. Help instead by driving to the nearest phone and calling police to help.

Getting Out

       Park in well-lighted areas, near sidewalks or walkways. Avoid parking near dumpsters, large vans or trucks, or anything else that limits your visibility.

       Never leave valuables in plain view, even if the car is locked. Put them in the trunk or out of sight.

       Try to park in a garage with an attendant. When using valet parking leave only the ignition key.

       Even if you are in a hurry, look around before you get out of your car and stay alert to your surroundings.

If a Carjacking Happens to You...

       If the carjacker threatens you with a gun or other weapon, give up your car. Don't argue. Your life is worth more than a car.

       Get away from the area as quickly as possible.

       Try to remember what the carjacker looked like - sex, race, age, hair and eye color, special features, clothes.

       Report the crime immediately to the police.


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