Prevent carjackings with these important tips

In an effort to help prevent residents from becoming victims of carjacking, communications officer, W/O Radhika Marimuthu, issued important safety tips.

  • Residents are encouraged to be alert when driving. Constantly, watch if you are being followed. Avoid texting or talking on the phone as this can distract you.
  • If you are being followed, drive to the nearest police station or a busy area.
  • Always change your routes to home and work.
  • Lock your car doors when driving and keep your windows up. Many carjackings occur at red lights and stop signs especially if a person is distracted.
  • Avoid driving alone, especially at night. Rather leave a huge stuffed animal or teddy at the back seat to look as if there’s more than one person in the vehicle.
  • Do not leave valuables on the seat which can be seen from outside. Place these items in the boot especially handbags and laptops.
  • When you go to a petrol station, turn off your ignition and lock your car when you go to pay the attendant. Do not stop if you see a stranger whose car is broken down on the side of the road. Call for help via your cellphone. More often than not, these are ploys by criminals to get you to stop your vehicle.

What to do if carjacked

  • If you are outside your car and approached by a carjacker who is not armed and demands your car, throw your keys past him as far as you can. Scream for help or activate your personal safety device to get attention. Then run from the area as fast as possible.
  • If your car is equipped with an ignition cut-off switch, activate it while getting out of your vehicle.  Do so only if not being closely observed by the carjacker as you will put yourself in danger.
  • If the car locking remote is equipped with an alarm, activate it while leaving the area. If you are confronted by a carjacker who is armed with a knife, gun, or other weapon or if the criminal is violently agitated, excited or angry (many carjackers are high on drugs or very nervous), give up your car keys and car and leave the scene.
  • Try to remember a description of the carjacker; estimated age, sex, race, height, weight, hair colour, clothes, etc.  This can help the police when profiling the suspect.
  • If there is a child in the car with you, let the carjackers know by informing him in a loud-clear voice repeating, ‘My child is in the car.’  While announcing the presence of the child in the car, continue to unbuckle the child from the car seat. Remove the child to a safe area and leave as fast as possible.
  • At all times try to remain calm. The suspect is more nervous than you and any resistance from you can be life-threatening. Resistance by you or any fight can result in the suspect becoming violent.

 

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