Police officer reveals tips to avoid carjackings, remain safe if you’ve fallen victim to one

Police officer reveals tips to avoid carjackings, remain safe if you’ve fallen victim to one

In a situation of a carjacking, a car is stolen from the driver by using force, threats or intimation while the owner is occupying the vehicle.

Being a victim of a carjacking can quickly escalate and become dangerous.

Sergeant Diogo Mello of the East Providence Police Department in Rhode Island offered safety tips to Fox News Digital via email on what to do if you fall victim to a carjacking situation and preventative measures you can take to protect yourself.

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If you are being carjacked, staying calm and resisting the urge to display combativeness towards the criminal is essential. 

“Do not resist or be combative, as it will put you in danger,” Mello said. “The carjacker wants something from you, and they have already decided to take it by force. Cooperating and separating yourself from them and the car is essential.”

“Keep in mind that the carjacker may have addiction issues (crack, meth, etc.); therefore, they could be paranoid, aggressive, delusional, etc. This can be a dangerous combination for victims who resist their demands,” Mello continued. 

Mello noted that even if you’re in a state of panic, try and gather as much information about the suspect as you can, such as physical features and characteristics like a tattoo or a specific scar, as this will help law enforcement identify the subject later on.

“The only exception to complying with the carjacker’s demands is if they try to force you into the vehicle,” Mello said. “In such a situation, you must avoid going with them as it is unlikely to end well.”

One of the best things you can do for yourself to remain safe from carjackings and other crime is to always be aware of your surroundings. 

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“Staying vigilant is the most important thing you can do to avoid becoming a victim, though it’s easier said than done in today’s world,” Mello said. “We’re often distracted by our cell phones while walking, driving, or even stopping at traffic lights, making us oblivious to our surroundings. This can make us an easy target for criminals.”

When you’re walking around at any time of day, make sure you can see and hear everything that is happening around you. 

The following are tips offered by Mello to keep you safe while you are on the road. 

Mello also noted tracking or GPS software that is already built into newer vehicles. If your car isn’t equipped with this already, you can get an inexpensive tracker on Amazon. 

The police officer added to avoid putting the tracker in the glove box or the center console, since those are spots that criminals check first for valuable items. 

While it is important to always be aware of your surroundings, there are certain places where carjackings tend to happen more than others, like shopping plazas, garages, convenience stores or gas stations. 

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“To reduce the risk of a carjacking, you should park in a well-lit area closest to the business’s entrance. Criminals are less likely to act if they know witnesses will see them,” Mello added.

Mello also said that the time of day could be a risk factor, as most carjackings happen in the later hours of the night to the early hours of the morning, from 10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.

Doing things like neglecting to lock your vehicle, leaving it running while you stop at a location, as well as the make, model and value of the vehicle can all make a driver more vulnerable to carjacking. 

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