A person with a gun taps on your window, telling you to get out. A knife to your throat while a voice tells you to drop your keys. A car bumps into you from behind, and steals your car while you exchange information. Carjacking is a very real and very dangerous crime all around the world. We live in an imperfect world, but we can protect ourselves and our loved ones.
Carjacking is a car robbery where force or intimidation is used. Kidnapping is also common during carjackings. Because cars have become much more secure with anti-theft utilities, such as alarms and smart keys, carjackers find it much easier to steal the car when the keys are near or inside the car. The most dangerous place for a carjacking is when the owner of the car is getting in and out of a car. Also, women are targeted more than men and single drivers are targeted more than multiple people in the car. Specifically, in the United States, Chris E McGoey states,
“Carjacking occurs most often in a busy commercial area where cars are parked and when the owner is entering or exiting the parked vehicle. Most carjackings or attempts (65%) occur within five miles of the victim’s home. The carjacker wants the keys readily available and the car door unlocked for a quick getaway. Carjackers tend to rob lone victims more often (92%), for obvious reasons. According to the NCVS, men were victimized more often than women, blacks more than whites; Hispanics, more than non-Hispanics; and divorced, separated, or never married more than married or widowed. This trend is not surprising given the fact that younger single males tend to take more chances and go to higher risk locations than do married persons. It is unclear whether household income or the value of the vehicle is a criterion in carjacking as the statistics are spread throughout the income levels. However the $35,000 to $50,000 income range had a slightly higher carjack victim frequency.
Armored Vehicle Carjack Protection
Here at International Armoring, we offer increased protection against carjackings and kidnappings. You are safe in your movable fortress to escape most immediate dangers. Because the carjacker’s purpose is to take the car in as good as condition and not chase after the victim, options we provide (like run-flat tires and smoke screens) don’t necessarily apply. Here are a couple of features we provide to prevent carjackings:
- Ballistic glass: We provide bulletproof glass in order to protect you while inside the car. You don’t need to be threatened if a man with a gun attempts to steal your car.
- Electric door handles: It is generally a good precaution to always lock your doors while inside the car, no matter the circumstances. However, a thief may still try to force his way in. Activate the electric door handle to send a shock to the would-be thief.
- Sirens: We can install loud sirens and lights. Generally, carjackers don’t like a lot of noise, so making a lot of commotion might scare the thief off before he makes any real threat.
Ways to Prevent Carjackings
We may be able to provide an armored vehicle, but it is up to the owner of the car to fully prevent carjackings. Places and activities they like to target are isolated parking stalls, stop lights, fake accidents, hitchhiking, or safe getaways. Be extremely cautious when you exit or enter your car, as that is when you are most vulnerable. When driving it is important to appear confident and in control. If you appear lost, weak or preoccupied you increase your chances of becoming a victim.
Advice of what you can do to prevent carjackings:
- Keep your valuables (such as purses, laptops and bags) out of view while driving and parked
- If driving at night or early morning, always park in well-lighted areas
- Don’t stop at isolated cash machines or other isolated areas.
- As you walk to your car be alert to suspicious persons sitting in cars
- Watch out for young males loitering in the area
- If someone tries to approach, change direction or run to a busy store
- Follow your instincts if they tell you to walk/run away to a busy place
- Make it your habit to always start your car and drive away immediately
- In the city or stopped at a traffic light, always drive with your car doors locked and windows rolled up
- When stopped in traffic, leave room ahead to maneuver and escape, if necessary
- Beware of the Good Samaritan who offers to repair your car or a flat tire. It’s okay to get help, just be alert
- If suspicious of an accident, wave to follow, and drive to a gas station or busy place before getting out
- Don’t stop to help a disabled motorist or pedestrian. Stay in your locked car and offer to call a service station or the police from your cell phone.
- Don’t open your window for someone approaching your car asking for directions or trying to sell your something.
- If you are pulled over by someone in an unmarked car who claims to be a police officer, stay in your locked car and call 911 on your cell phone. Tell the person you are calling 911 to confirm they are in fact a police officer. If the person is truly a police officer, he won’t have a problem with your actions, and if he is not a police officer, he will take off to avoid arrest.
If you are ever confronted by an armed carjacker (while outside an armored vehicle):
- Don’t resist; give up your keys or money if demanded without resistance (you can buy another car, but not another life)
- Don’t argue, fight or chase the robber. You can be seriously injured
- Never agree to be kidnapped. Drop the cars keys and run and scream for help
- If you are forced to drive, consider crashing your car near a busy intersection to attract attention so bystanders can come to your aid and call the police
- Call the police immediately to report the crime and provide detailed information
- If you can’t drive away from a bad situation, stay in your locked car and yell and honk your horn repeatedly. Criminals don’t like noise and they tend to run away to avoid attention.