What You Should Know If Faced With A Carjacking


As we get busy with the holidays, we will be in parking lots and garages more than usual. We may be going to places not in our everyday routines and unfamiliar. And, with our mind on our holiday to-do-list, we may not be as observant of the people in our surrounding and have our normal defense awareness.

Carjacking is a term everyone is way too familiar with, but would you know what to do if you were to come face-to-face with a potential carjacker?

Let’s Start with Prevention

Know your surroundings prior to approaching your car.

Watch for anyone loitering in the parking lot. People should be coming and going, not standing around. This could be a signal something is wrong.

Be suspicious of anyone sitting in the car next to yours.

If you are uncomfortable and feel something is not right, call the police. They prefer you call them to prevent a crime versus after the fact.

If You are Carjacked

Don’t be a hero, remain calm and comply with the demand to turn over your vehicle.

Seconds count. You need to get out of the car immediately. It doesn’t matter if it’s in park or not.

If you have children with you, don’t hesitate and grab them quickly. If possible, jump over the seat to retrieve them versus getting out of the car first. It is possible the carjacker could drive away quicker than you could extract them from the outside.

Leave the area immediately.

Never stay in the car, no matter what they say! Even if they threaten you with a weapon, don’t stay in the car. You don’t want to become the victim in a remote location.


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Lynn Forrester-Pitocco

Tracy, thank you for this article. As a retired police officer, I can’t tell you how many times I had to respond to the crime of taking what doesn’t belong to you and how simple it would have been if there has been some thought process to the awareness of your surrounding. What I added, if its okay is that when you are at a gas station getting gas, and you step out, with your drivers door open, hit the auto lock with your keys and lock automatically all the other doors, so that with your back turned getting gas, no one can enter from the other side. Good article of awareness. Thanks