Auto Theft Protection
Common Carjacking Schemes
- Pretending to be a stranded motorist
- Faking a fender-bender accident or deliberately getting involved in an accident with the victim.
- Approaching the victim in shopping malls, private driveways or apartment complex parking lots.
- Women are more likely to be targeted because thieves think that women will put up less resistance.
- Most common victims include those driving alone or with small children.
Rules to Drive By
- Always have your keys in hand and be ready to make a quick entry into the car. When entering the car, look into the rear seat for possible suspects. If it is safe to do so, look around you before turning off the ignition.
- Keep your car doors and windows locked. Thieves often enter through unlocked windows and doors.
- Stay alert at red lights. Look around you, especially to the sides and rear, so you can be aware of anyone approaching you.
- When pulling up to a traffic light, be sure to leave enough room between your car and the car in front of you. This will make it possible for you to drive off should someone approach you.
- Minimize driving at late hours. Nationwide, most carjacking takes place between 10:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m.
- Consider purchasing a cellular phone to call for help.
- Don't assume you are safe in an inexpensive car.
If It Happens to You
- Get your children out of the car.
- Trust your instincts. There are no absolute rules for what to do in a carjacking. If you think it's feasible, accelerate and try to drive away. Remember, your car is not bullet proof.
- Report the crime immediately to the police, and try to provide as many details as possible.
Try to be prepared to provide at least the following information about the offender(s):
- Age, race, height, and weight
- Hair color and style, beard, mustache
- Notable characteristics (acne, scars, glasses, mental state, etc.)
- Clothing description
- Location where last seen
- Last known direction of travel
- Vehicle description and distinctive marking