~ Carjacking is a serious problem and has spread across the entire country. It was classified as "THEE GROWTH CRIME" of the 90s, per law enforcement officials.
Statistics show the chances of your car being stolen or broken into are 1 in 40 older models are stolen more often than newer models; vehicle theft in the United States is running at over $10+ billion a year; and one vehicle is stolen every 18 seconds. Even though you have seen this scenario on TV Most cars are stolen by gangs or thieves who disassemble them and sell the parts for huge profits.
~ What can you do to prevent your vehicle from being stolen or being carjacked?
Unfortunately there is no completely reassuring answer to this question. Security is meant to be a deterrent and is never 100 percent foolproof. It is intended to “harden” a target, to discourage attackers and make them look for a “softer,” or easier target. The purpose of this report is to help you ”harden” yourself and your vehicle as targets without the expense most people associate with security precautions.
~ Why is Carjacking increasing so rapidly? And why has it become such a “growth crime?”
Carjacking is simple, easier, and even safer (for the criminal) than the usual methods of automobile theft.
Envision yourself sitting at a stop sign or anywhere on the road for that matter, when suddenly someone sticks a gun in your face and forces you out of your car. He drives off with your car, if you are lucky. Sometimes, and all too often, you will also become a victim of violence.
This terrifying and relatively new form of auto theft can be very traumatic for the victims. Unfortunately, this violent form of auto theft is on the rise.
~ After the Theft
Everybody can agree that once your car has been stolen, it is too late. Filing a report with local authorities is about all you can do. The chances of receiving your car back might be 50-50. Receiving it back undamaged are even slimmer. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (F.B.I.), 1.7 million vehicles were stolen in 1994. Unfortunately, auto theft can happen to anyone, anytime and anywhere.
The recovery rate of stolen vehicles has dropped from 89 percent in the 1970s to about 52 percent in the 1980s and remained just about the same through today.
~ Deterrent Techniques Against Carjacking & Auto Theft
- . Before entering your car, be alert to any activity nearby. Pay attention to every- thing, especially if it looks or feels strange, different, unusual or out of place.
3. Do not continue towards your vehicle if you see anyone loitering around your vehicle.
4. If possible do not drive through high crime areas or neighborhoods, particularly at night.
5 . It pays to be cautious of people asking for spare change, directions, washing car windows, etc.
6. If a questionable person(s) approaches your car, drive away with caution.
7. Take extra caution when using ATMs (Automated Teller Machines) especially at night.
8. When you are in a situation that you need help, leaning on your horn will draw attention to yourself.
9. Always try to keep at least a quarter tank of gas in your car.
10. Try to also keep in mind the nearest safe spots and the shortest routes to them. (For example: well lit public areas, hospitals and of course police stations)
11. A good driver checks his/her rear view mirror every 40 seconds.
12. Try to know the area(s) that you’re driving in.
13 .On isolated and lonely streets never stop for anyone at night.
14. Always let someone know your destination and time of arrival. If you’re really concerned about your specific situation, vary the time and route to and from work and avoid fixed routines.
15. When purchasing a vehicle always validate the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number). Make sure it matches the ownership papers.
16. 11% of cars that are "stolen" are actually towed away. To make this procedure harder for them, turn the wheel to the extreme right or left and apply your emergency brake.
17. Try to always park in well lit areas.
18. Always lock your doors and close your windows, whether you’re gone for two minutes or two hours.
19. Avoid attaching an identification tag to your keychain. This makes it extremely easy for thieves to burglarize your home.
20. Always leave packages, valuables, etc. in the trunk.
21. If you have a motorcycle or bicycle keep it out of sight or covered.
22. When locking your bike use case-hardened steel and wind it through the frame and wheels and connect it to a solid object.
~ Techniques For Improving Vehicle Safety
- Alarm System: Any system that can provide extra protection for your vehicle is a good one.
- First Aid Kit: No car should go without.
- Heavy Duty Parts: Installation of any heavy duty parts such as batteries, steering pumps, shocks and springs, and radiators will help your vehicle become that much more dependable in each of their related areas. Let’s face the facts, better quality parts are less able to fail you in whatever situation you might find yourself in.
- Locking gas cap: For the prevention of anything being put in or taken out of your gas tank.
- Mirrors: Using wide angle mirrors will increase your field of vision.
- Spotlight(s): Mounted strategically these can be very effective in blinding any attacker. Usually more than one light is more effective.
- Tires: Radial tires have better handling and durability than others.