There have been reports of several recent carjackings in Bucktown - an arrest of a juvenile has been made in connection to several of these crimes. Here are some tips to help prevent you from becoming a victim of this crime.
Lock all doors and keep windows rolled up at all times-even if you are parked or only driving for only a short distance.
When approaching your vehicle, have your keys in hand, ready to open the door. The few seconds you save fumbling for your keys may keep you from becoming a victim.
Keep your eyes moving and your head on a swivel. Often, if a criminal senses that a victim has observed him, they’ll look for an easier victim.
Trust your instincts. If you feel something is wrong, turn around and leave the area.
Take special care when stopped in traffic for anyone approaching your vehicle. Sound your horn to attract attention if approached by a suspicious person.
Sometimes carjackers or thieves driving behind you will bump your rear fender, expecting you to pull over right away. If your vehicle is tapped in the rear, do not pull over, especially at night or in unfamiliar places. Instead, drive to a well-lit, secure area with other people such as a gas station or, better still, a police facility to report the accident.
When stopping in traffic at a stop sign or light, make sure you leave enough room in front of you to be able to maneuver and escape if necessary. Rule of thumb- if you can’t see the rear tires of the car in front of you touch the pavement, you’re too close.
Always try to park in well-lit, heavily traveled areas, as close to your destination as possible. An attended parking lot is ideal, as criminals hate having witnesses.
Never leave your car with the motor running, even if only for a minute to run into a store or your home.
Gas stations, carwashes, and drive up ATMs are often the venue for a carjacking. Drivers are distracted and easily surprised by criminals.
Shoppers loading packages into their vehicles are often targeted because they are distracted.
Be wary of people near your vehicle who ask for directions or money or other possible distractions. They may be working with a partner who will attempt to take your keys and your vehicle.
Drive in the center lane away from curbs and sidewalks.
Keep your cell phone in your pocket. If your vehicle is stolen, you’ll have a way to call 911, rather than being stranded without a way to call for help.
Carry a card listing your license plate number, VIN, engine type, and body style. Relay this information to the police quickly if your car is stolen.
If you are a victim, cooperate with the suspect. Make a mental note of the suspect’s description (height, age, clothing, tattoos, scars, etc), their vehicle’s description, and report it to the police as soon as possible.