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Car Jacking Is On Rise. What Can You Do To Avoid Being A Target.


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8/13/2010
James E. Ballidis
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Orange County residents are fortunate to live in some of the safest communities in America. However earlier this week, residents of Orange were horrified that a woman in a grocery store parking lot was stabbed, her car carjacked, and now is fighting for her life—all in broad daylight.

The woman had just finished grocery shopping; was loading her bags, then getting in her car when a man approached her. Earlier eye witnesses had seen this young man loitering around the parking lot asking for money. Witnesses saw the woman comply with the man’s demands, gave him the keys to the car but he stabbed her anyway.

Carjackers have become bolder and even in this case, strike in the middle of the morning with several eyewitnesses. This is not the first time as California Injury Lawyers we have seen this behavior and the damage it leaves behind.  Another incident happened last week in San Diego. A man handed over his car and was running away when the carjacker shot him 5 times in the back. He is expected to survive but is hospitalized in serious condition.

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s recent statistics, 6 of the top ten hot spots for stolen vehicles in the U.S. are in California. Carjacking is a crime that is on the rise and because it is a crime of convenience, sometimes the type of car you drive is not as important as where you are. Furthermore, it is important to know where carjackers usually strike and as always, pay attention to your surroundings, even if you live in a safe Orange County community.

Ninety-three percent of all carjacking situations happen in a suburb or urban setting. Malls and grocery stores are common sites for carjacking, but so are intersections controlled by stop signs or stoplights; ATM’s and self-service gas stations. Here are recommendations from our Orange County auto accident lawyers:

While driving:
•    Keep your car well-maintained and full of gas
•    While driving through traffic, try to drive in the center lane and through well-lit areas
•    Keep your windows rolled up and doors locked while driving through stop and go traffic
•    If someone is following you or bumps into you intentionally, drive to a police station or call 9-1-1. “Bump and Rob” is a typical ploy where once you have left your car to exchange information with the other driver, the passenger in the other car has an opportunity to steal your car.

Getting into your car:
•    Approach your car with your key in hand and walk with a purpose. Don’t be chatting on your cell phone or juggling several shopping bags.
•    Avoid people handing out flyers in parking lots and keep a safe distance from people approaching you; whether it is to ask for directions, money or just the time.
Getting out of your car:
•    Look around before you open your door.
•    Never leave electronics or other valuable in plain view—remember, it is usually a crime of convenience.
And lastly, if you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of being carjacked, be aware that in75% of all cases a weapon is used; try to stay calm and follow the carjacker’s demands. Your car can always be replaced.

Category: Car Accidents


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