Car jacking involves a person or group of people stealing a motor vehicle when the vehicle is already occupied. As the name suggests, carjacking is similar to hijacking, but involves cars rather than aeroplanes. A carjacker is often armed and will strike in one of several ways. Sometimes an offender will break into a car and wait for the driver/owner to arrive before carjacking, but at other times, car jacking will involve getting into a car that is stationary but has the engines running (e.g. at the traffic lights). Other carjackers will ask their victim for a lift, coming up with a sob-story why they need one. This is why you should not pick up hitchhikers if you are driving alone!
Once the offenders are in the vehicle, the nightmare of car-jacking can proceed in two ways. In the least terrifying scenario, the carjackers will force their victim out of the car and then proceed to drive away with the vehicle. In the second and much more frightening method of carjacking, the offender will force the driver (by threatening them) to drive to a destination known only to the carjacker, frequently some deserted or isolated spot. After this type of car jacking has been successful, all sorts of terrible things could happen – more than one serial killer has used carjacking as a means of abducting their victims.
If you are the victim of this second type of carjacking, there are only a few things that you can do. Occasionally, pretending that the car needs petrol or oil and pulling into a service station can work to thwart an attempted carjacking. If the carjacker is not so easily fooled, then you have fewer options. The simplest method is to turn this type of car jacking into the first type of carjacking: if the car has to stop at traffic lights, get out of the driver’s seat and run! If this isn’t possible, then accidentally-on-purpose bumping another vehicle can draw attention of other motorists, who will most likely step in and put an end to your carjacking nightmare. The most extreme form of dealing with an attempted carjacking is to pull up and stop outside a police station. This takes great courage, but calls the carjacker’s bluff. In essence, it says “Right, mate – you’ve got a choice. Do you want to do time just for carjacking or are you going to do time for murder as well?”
But the best way to escape carjacking is to avoid it in the first place. Always park in areas that are well lit at night and be aware of those around you. Make it a habit to always start the car and move away immediately rather than hanging around with the engine running in a car park. Carjacking is often an opportunist crime committed by those who are after a quick buck (by stealing a car) or for the thrill of having someone at their mercy. If you are the victim of a carjacking of either type, always phone the police and provide them with as many details as possible.
A good alarm system will prevent the type of carjacking that occurs when an intruder breaks into your car to wait for you to return, and could be well worth the investment. Many cars come with this type of security system as standard.
We hope that helps answer the question ‘What is What is Car Jacking?’!
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