How to prevent a carjacking

Unlike the vehicle theft where a criminal takes a vehicle when the driver is not present, carjacking is a violent crime where a vehicle is taken directly from the driver. If someone demands your vehicle, let them have it. No item of property is worth injury. After all, your property can be replaced.
* Always be aware of your surroundings.

* Leave several car lengths between your car and the car in front of you.

* Drive in the center lane when possible, not at the curb.

* When shopping, park as close as possible to the entrance in a well-lighted area.

* When approaching your parked car, check the area; if you see something suspicious, don’t go near it.

* Act with certainty; know what you are doing. Most thieves select a victim who acts timid, frightened or unsure.

* Keep your car keys separate from your other keys and have them ready for a quick entry.

* Keep your car doors locked at all times. Keep the windows up.

* If you are approached while you are in your car, lean on the horn to create a commotion until the danger passes.

* If you get bumped from behind do not get out of you car. Signal the other driver to follow you. Go to the nearest police or fire station or some other area of safety where there are other people.

* When riding in your car do not keep purses, cell phones or other valuables on the seat and visible through the window.

* If you are pushed into your car try to escape out the other side and then move away from the car.

* Avoid areas you know or feel are unsafe and when possible travel with a friend.

* Don’t be a hero. No property is worth your life.

Remember that safety precautions should be used at all times. If something should happen to you use your head, stay calm and take care of yourself.

For further information on this or others safety topics please contact the University of Florida Police Department’s Community Services Division at 392-1409.