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Safety Tips concerning Auto Theft and Carjacking .docx [2 Attachments]

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  • Beach, Mark (MPD)
    Be advised that the Metropolitan Police Department has seen a pattern involving the theft and carjacking of vehicles from within the First, Fifth, Sixth and
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 11, 2013

    Be advised that the Metropolitan Police Department has seen a pattern involving the theft and carjacking of vehicles from within the First, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Police Districts.


    This pattern involves what we have termed “bump and rob" technique sometimes used by carjackers where your car is intentionally bumped in the rear by another car. When you get out to exchange personal and insurance information with the other driver, a passenger in the other car jumps into your car and drives off.


    If another car bumps yours and you feel threatened, drive to a populated area, police of fire station or, if you have a cellular phone, call the 9-1-1 for assistance immediately indicating your fear to stop at the accident location and where you are stopping.


    When coming to a stop, stop far enough behind the vehicle in front of you to allow room for you to maneuver around it should you sense trouble and need to get away.


    Safety tips concerning Auto Theft and Carjacking to educate and reduce your chances of being victimized


                                                                Auto Theft


    In the United States a vehicle is stolen every 25-30 seconds. This serious crime costs the victims both time and money, and it causes all of our insurance rates to increase. Additionally, we find that stolen vehicles are often used to commit other crimes.


    You can help reduce the number of these crimes - and your risk of becoming a victim - by practicing basic prevention techniques.


    Never leave your keys in the car or in the ignition, even if you are going to leave it for just a minute. Many auto thefts occur when people leave their car running while pumping case, while they run inside a convenience store or other location where they feel they will be gone for a short time and can keep an eye on their car.


    Always lock your car, even when it is parked at your home.


    Avoid parking your vehicle in isolated areas where there is little foot or vehicle traffic. Unattended parking lots and enclosed parking garages also increase the risks.


    Write down your tag number and the vehicle identification number (VIN) and keep that information in your wallet or purse. Also, keep your vehicle registration with you rather than leave it in your car. If your car is stolen, you will have necessary information to give to investigating officers that will help them to recover your vehicle. Many times, victims do not know their license number to give to officers at the scene and must wait and call it in at a later time. This causes unnecessary delays and reduces the chances of your vehicle being recovered quickly.

    Keep your vehicle in good running condition and enough gas to get to and from your destination.




    Carjacking is a serious, often violent crime that involves stealing a car by force. It is a crime of opportunity with the thief searching for the most vulnerable victim - sometimes as the first step in another crime.


    Carjacking’s can occur at any time.


    Carjackers don't choose their victims by race, sex or age. They look for the best opportunity to commit their crime and often target higher end luxury cars and SUV’s.


    Being a crime of opportunity, carjackers will look for areas that afford them increased odds of finding a victim. Although it could happen anywhere, some favorite places include:


    Intersections controlled by stop lights or signs.


    Self-serve gas stations and car washes.


    Automated teller machines (ATM).


    Garages and parking lots for shopping malls and grocery stores.


    Residential driveways and streets as people enter or exit their vehicles.


    Highway exit and entry ramps or any other place where drivers slow down or come to a stop.


    Your chances of being the victim of a carjacking are statistically low. However, the threat does exist and you can reduce the risks even more by following some basic prevention guidelines.


    When approaching your car to enter, walk with purpose and stay alert. Be aware of your surroundings. Watch for suspicious people or vehicles when entering or exiting your vehicle.


    Have your key in hand as you approach your car. Look around and inside of your car before getting in. Glance in the back seat and under the car before opening car doors.


    Install an anti-theft device that has a panic button you can activate if you sense trouble.


    Drive in the center lane when on highways; this reduces your chances of becoming a bump and run theft victim.

    Be wary of people asking directions or handing out fliers. Trust your instincts - if something makes you feel uneasy, get into the car quickly, lock the doors and drive away.


    Keep doors locked and windows rolled up (at least part-way) whenever you are in your car, regardless of the length of your trip. Be especially cautious at stop signs, in parking lots and remote areas.


    Plan ahead! Know how to reach your destination before beginning any trip in your car. Study road maps ahead of time and avoid asking strangers for directions or appearing lost. Be alert! Pay attention to what's happening around you. Lost or confused drivers are vulnerable. Call ahead for proper and safe directions.


    Don't get absorbed in activities that prevent you from being alert, such as phone conversations, combing your hair, applying make-up or reading while waiting at stoplights.


    Keep purses, briefcases, and packages under seats or on the floor out of sight.

    Check your rear view mirror to make sure you're not followed into your driveway or garage.


    If you are the victim of a carjacking, don't reach for your purse or valuables; leave them behind if forced from the car.


    Remove all valuables from your vehicle.


    Honk your horn and attempt to drive cautiously to the nearest well-populated and well-lit location if danger seems imminent. If you have a cellular telephone, call 9-1-1 immediately.


    When coming to a stop, stop far enough behind the vehicle in front of you to allow room for you to maneuver around it should you sense trouble and need to get away.


    Try to avoid driving alone, particularly at night.


    Do not exit your car or roll down a car window to speak with a stranger if involved in a minor traffic accident. Exchange insurance information through a window or motion for the other driver to follow you to the nearest well-populated area.


    Don't stop to assist a stranger whose car has broken down. Help instead by using a cellular phone or driving home or to work to call police to help.


    Keep your car keys separate from other personal keys. If your car is stolen, the thief will have your vehicle registration with your home address (if you haven't followed advice to keep it on you rather than in the car) and a key to your house. Have your locks changed if this is the case.

    Park in well-lighted areas near sidewalks and away from anything that limits your visibility or provides concealment for a potential carjacker such as dumpsters, woods, and large trucks or vans.


    If you do find yourself being carjacked...


    Surrender your car keys and car on the first request. If you determine it is safe to do so, exit out the opposite door to avoid contact with the carjacker. Remember that carjacking is a form of auto theft and is generally covered by your automobile insurance. The possible loss of your car is not worth the risk of serious injury or death.


    Get away from the area as quickly as possible.


    Try to remember what the carjacker looked like - sex, age, race, hair and eye color, clothing, tattoos, glasses, hats and other special characteristics.


    Do not delay and report the crime to police immediately by dialing 9-1-1.


    An FBI study found there are certain times you are more likely to become a victim of a carjacking:


    Most carjacking’s occur between 8 and 11 p.m.


    Friday, Saturday and Sunday account for nearly half of all carjacking’s.


    More carjacking’s occur in December (27%) than any other month.


    Fifteen metropolitan areas account for 90% of carjacking’s.


    Parking lots are the favorite areas for carjackers, followed by city streets, residential driveways, car dealers and gas stations.


    In cases involving the use of weapons, 90% involve handguns.





    Mark Beach
    Assistant Patrol District Commander
    Metropolitan DC Police Department
    Fifth Police District
    1805 Bladensburg Road, NE
    Washington, DC 20002
    202-345-1313 BeachBerry
    202-698-0150 5D Station Operations
    202-327-4392 5D Watch Commander
    202-698-0111 5D Command Complex 
    202-727-9099 Command Information Center
    "Commitment to Excellence" 
    CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This e-mail is confidential, intended only for use by the named recipient(s) above. The content included in this email is the property of the Metropolitan Police Department and is law enforcement sensitive. This email should not be forwarded or disseminated to unauthorized users. It should only be used by the intended recipient. If you have received this e-mail in error, please immediately notify the sender by replying to this e-mail at the address shown above. This e-mail and any attachments may contain confidential information. Please delete it from your files if you are not the intended recipient.



    New, expanded library hours start Oct. 1.  More hours for story time.  More hours for community meetings.  More hours to use free computers.  Check out the library's new hours at dclibrary.org/newhours.

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