Carjacking Words to the Wise
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Thu, 25 Mar 99 19:41:16 -0800
Subject: Carjacking Words to the Wise
People WHO TRAVEL AT NIGHT-TAKE HEED TO THIS!
I headed for home by myself at approximately 10pm. I was...between
exits...when a car pulled into the right most lane beside me (I was in the
center lane) and started matching speeds with me. After a minute, I tried
to slow down so he would pass. He slowed,too. I regained my previous
speed, and he sped up with me.
Finally after a few minutes of this, he pulled slightly ahead of me,
rolled down his window and motioned towards my tire as though something was
wrong. The man had already begun to make me nervous by driving along side
me for some distance on the mostly empty highway, and now my training took
over. "This man is trying to get me off the road by myself here in the
dark," I thought.This, in case you are unfamiliar with the area, is
basically the middle of nowhere. I know my car. I am very careful with
maintenance, and I am an experienced driver. I know what a flat tire feels
like. I knew my car was fine. I put on my turn signal and moved to the
right-most lane behind the man anyway and slowed down slightly (there is
always the chance that something could have been wrong,better to be
prepared). The other car pulled onto the shoulder and started slowing down.
Now I knew he was definitely trying to get me to pull over. I passed
him, he swerved back on the road and drove right behind me. At the next
exit, there were two gas stations. They were well lit and there were a few
people there. I exited; he followed. Not only this, but a car I had not
previously noticed, that was in front of us suddenly swerved off the exit
when I put my turn signal on. I know this scenario. I grew up in some
pretty bad areas. I have had training in this. At this point, everything
I had learned was in control. I decided not to stop anywhere.
By now there was absolutely no doubt that my car was fine. When we
approached the stop sign at the dark, empty intersection after the gas
stations, the car ahead of me put on his left turn signal and stopped. I
checked for traffic as I approached the intersection, then pulled around
him to the right, and headed straight back for the highway. Both the car
that had been ahead and the one that had been following me turned left
across the highway and did not pursue further.
I have now carefully checked my car in a safe place when I knew I was
no longer being followed. It is in perfect condition. This is a classic
scenario for car jackers to use at night. I feel lucky that I was well
prepared and didn't have to think too much about what to do.
1. Don't ever let yourself be caught between two cars. Car jackers often
work in pairs, attempting to corner your vehicle.
2. Don't ever pull off the road at night by yourself in a dark, unpopulated
3. Carry a cell phone - I'm going to get one!!
4. Stay calm. Don't try any tricks. If you are in an accident, you are
5. Remember that most criminals want easy victims...DON'T LET YOURSELF
6. Make sure you find out how to react BEFORE you are in the situation!
These situations are unfortunately real and dangerous. Thinking about
it when it happens is too late!
7. ALWAYS make sure you do not stop until you are CERTAIN that help is
present (i.e., even if you are in a slight accident, head straight for
the police station, and don't stop until you are there. Car jackers
often slightly damage vehicles by bumping them from the rear to try to
get the driver to get out.)
GOOD ENOUGH TO READ? PASS IT ON
KAREN L CAMPBELL
Attorney at Law
© 1999 Peter Langston