A nightmare scenario for parents everywhere occurred in South Atlanta recently when robbers hijacked a car with three children inside.
A woman returned to her home on August 24th and found a red truck parked in her driveway. Worried that her home was being burglarized, she left her three children, ages 8, 5 and 2 inside her car and went inside, only to discover that her hunch had been right and at least two people were in the process of invading her home. Upon trying to flee, the burglars realized that their truck was blocked by the woman’s car. They then took the car with two of the three children inside. According to police, the 5-year-old boy somehow managed to escape during the chase.
Shortly thereafter, a family friend found the woman’s car at the intersection of Nisky Lake and Butner roads. The two abducted children, an 8-year-old girl and a 2-year-old boy were, thankfully, unharmed.
Recent reports indicate that carjackers are, just like the would-be burglars and carjackers featured in this news item, becoming much more brazen. The women’s empowerment group Award posits that carjacking is becoming more common now that car alarm systems have become fairly common. This makes it easier for carjackers to steal cranked, running vehicles from innocent drivers than it does for them to steal a heavily alarmed and protected parked car.
With that in mind, here are a few tips to avoid carjacking. Follow each and every one of these if at all possible to avoid the nightmare scenario that an Atlanta mother had to face last month:
1.) Be Aware of Your Surroundings – Look around your person and your car before approaching. If you notice any suspicious activity, don’t approach. Always park in well-lit, safe areas.
2.) Keep Keys at the Ready – Never stand beside your car searching for your keys. This gives would-be carjackers time to scope you out or even abduct you.
3.) Lock Doors – Lock your doors as soon as you get inside the car. Shoppers, especially, are prone to getting in the car, cranking it, and then settling their packages and themselves in. Lock the door first for maximum safety.
4.) Prevent Breakdowns – Keep your car well-maintained and always carry a working cell phone in case of emergency.
5.) Choose Routes Carefully – Drive along busy, well-lit roads and stick to the center lane. This makes it more difficult for would-be carjackers to approach you.
6.) Check Mirrors – It’s easy to get so intent on driving that you do not notice suspicious activity going on around you. Check your mirrors periodically and keep your eyes peeled while driving. Intersections, gas stations, ATMs, and grocery stores are common carjacking starting points.
7.) Plan an Escape Route at Every Intersection – As a driver, never allow yourself to get blocked into one course of action on the road.
8.) Hide Valuables – Consider buying a detachable stereo face. Also, thieves are now on the lookout for GPS devices, so conceal or remove them before leaving your car.
Do you have any more tips on how to avoid carjacking? Please share them with other readers in the comments.