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Advice from security specialist Nemer Haddad about car-jacking

November 18, 2013

Your car can be stolen at anytime. This is called "carjacking." Carjacking can happen anywhere but there are ways to keep your car from being taken. When you leave your car, lock all the doors and close the windows. When you drive, lock your doors and keep the windows rolled up. Do not stop to help a car that has broken down. Instead call a service station or police to tell them where the car is. When stopped at a light, leave enough room between you and the car in front of you. This will leave you room for escape. Be suspicious of anyone approaching the car with fliers, asking for change or directions. Be ready to leave quickly, even if it means running a red light or stop sign. While driving, if struck from behind or in any suspicious way, stay in your vehicle with the doors locked and windows closed until the police arrive. Turn on your car's emergency flashers. If you're very suspicious, get the other vehicle's license number and drive to the nearest police station or a well-lighted area with lots of people. If you think you are being followed, drive immediately to an area with lots of lights and people. If possible, drive to the nearest police station.

Think before stopping to assist in an accident. It may be safer to call and report the location, number of cars involved, and any injuries you observed.

Popular carjacking locations are parking lots, shopping centers, gas stations, car washes, convenience stores, ATMs, hotels, valet parking, fast-food drive-thru, and outside of retail stores. Close proximity to a freeway onramp is a desirable escape factor from the carjackers prospective. A risky, but popular location for the carjacker is a roadway intersection with a stoplight. A carjacker will jump out of another vehicle, pull open your unlocked drivers’ door, and force you to get out. The type of carjacking allows for a quick escape but increases their risk of being followed by other drivers armed with cell phones. There have been incidents where well-meaning citizens got into a high-speed chase following carjackers and ended up being victims themselves.
/Nemer Haddad