Carjackings occur frequently due to the lack of intelligence and tools possessed by criminals to disable basic car alarm systems found in most modern vehicles. Instead, they prefer to exploit moments when individuals are vulnerable, not maintaining a state of heightened awareness (Condition Yellow) as they should be when in public spaces or transitioning to and from their cars. These incidents typically happen when people are engrossed in activities like refueling their vehicles, using their phones at a stoplight, or entering/exiting their cars in parking lots. The dangerous nature of these encounters stems from the fact that perpetrators are already agitated, under the influence of drugs, and desperate to escape with stolen vehicles. They leverage the element of surprise and the threat of violence to achieve their objectives. Your primary focus should be on maintaining awareness, and if you choose to do so, considering resistance. Despite the advice often given by experts, including law enforcement officers, to surrender valuables without resistance,
It is important to recognize that personal safety should always be the top priority, and no possession is worth risking one's life. When faced with a potential carjacking situation, individuals have to make a decision on whether to comply or resist. Personally, I choose to resist and not surrender my car, even if it may be old. Perpetrators expect victims to be shocked, scared, and compliant, but I refuse to conform to their expectations. The choice ultimately lies with each individual.
Starting with the importance of awareness, it is crucial to pay close attention to our surroundings and be mindful of approaching individuals or suspicious activities. Carjackers utilize various methods to target their victims. This may include someone on a bike asking for money at a traffic light, a member of a "Homeless Squeegee Patrol" offering to wash car windows for a fee, or someone pretending to be lost and in need of directions at a gas pump.
Other tactics may involve a staged rear-end collision, where upon inspecting the damage, armed individuals emerge demanding your vehicle. Another scenario could be a car suddenly slamming on its brakes in front of you, either causing a collision or forcing you to stop. In such cases, two to four assailants may exit the vehicle in front of you and rush toward you, pull you out, and take the car.
The downside of all these attacks is that even if you cooperate and give up your keys, you could still get shot, either because they are homicidal maniacs or more likely, because they are so jacked up on stress, adrenaline, fear, and meth, that they shoot you anyway. This possibility is why I will fight back, with my firearm or the hood or bumper of my car. Sorry carjacker, getting run over or backed over by me is a real possibility if you point a gun in my direction.
Let's look at some tactical defenses to these five scenarios from above:
A guy on a bike asking for money at a traffic light. First off, pay careful attention as to who tries to walk up or ride up next to either door of your car. You should already know to keep your doors locked and your windows rolled all the way up (this is why God helped Willis Carrier to invent air conditioning in 1902.) It's always a good tactical idea to pull up behind other cars at a light and still leave enough room between your bumper and theirs to be able to pull around them. If you are the first car at the limit line, you may need to run through the red light if the traffic is clear and it's safe to do so. If you are stuck and can't drive through the intersection or around other cars, stay in your car and watch who approaches. Be ready to draw your firearm, safely and quickly, if the person at your window tries to pull open your door, break the window, or points a gun at you. If he is holding a knife, you're safest inside the locked car. No need to shoot unless he uses the knife to break either of your side windows. If he is holding a brick or a rock to break the window, your best first move is to drive away. If he breaks the window and he doesn't follow that move with pulling a gun, and you shoot him, you'll have to explain to the cops and the courts and his parents' lawyer why you shot an "unarmed man." If you are in a protected position, you'll need to wait until it's gun on gun to defend yourself.
One potential scenario involves encountering a member of the "Homeless Squeegee Patrol" armed with a brush and a bucket of dirty soapy water, offering to wash your car windows for a fee. These individuals are accustomed to hearing different responses from people, ranging from polite refusals to more assertive and angry reactions. In such situations, it is important to mirror their approach. Give clear and loud verbal commands, such as "Step back! Back away! I don't have any money for you!" This assertiveness can help establish boundaries and deter potential threats.
To ensure safety at a gas pump, it is crucial to be proactive and aware of one's surroundings. Prioritize observing individuals before they come close enough to initiate a conversation. Gas stations and convenience stores often attract a variety of people, including panhandlers, aggressive individuals, those struggling with mental health issues, and potential car thieves.
To minimize vulnerability, it is advisable to maintain a vigilant mindset. When filling up at a gas station or entering a convenience store, keep your head on a swivel, constantly scanning the area. Some individuals naively leave their keys in the car or even keep their vehicle running, assuming their proximity to the store will deter thieves. This is a risky practice. When approaching the pump, have your credit card ready in hand to expedite the process. Once ready to fuel, set up the hose and step away from the car, ensuring a clear view of your surroundings.
Videos of carjackers pinning vehicle owners against the pump are unfortunately not unheard of. To mitigate such risks, stand at a safe distance from your car and the pumps, keeping your keys securely in your pocket. If approached by anyone, maintain a cautious stance and be prepared to assertively communicate your boundaries and intentions.
If I'm confronted by one or more armed carjackers at the pumps, I will act like I'm going to comply by telling them my keys are in my pocket and they can have my car, no problem. I will pull out my keys and hold them up. As they are looking at my keys, I will toss them on the ground near them (not too close and not too far away, like baiting a largemouth bass with a worm). As they are following the arc of the keys in the air from my hand to the ground, I will draw my pistol and fight back. Another car bumps you from behind at a light and when you get out to look at the damage, out comes two guys with guns who want your car. Let's answer this possibility with the similar one below.
A car slams on its brakes in front of you and either causes you to crash or forces you to stop. Two to four bad guys get out of the car in front and rush toward you, pull you out, and take the car. It's possible in either scenario that there might be another car involved as well. Some carjackers travel in crews and do multiple rips in one day, meeting up later with the cars in a safe place to part them out or ship them overseas.
Both of these scenarios play upon your shock at being hit or getting into an accident, so that you're more worried about your car and any injuries to yourself (or the other person, if they are not a crook). This means your distraction is to their advantage. It's easy to say, "Don't get distracted immediately following an accident. Keep your head on the swivel and be alert for the possibility that the crash was staged and the participants are not who they appear to be." But this is not always easy to do. You have to be able to quickly read the accident situation and who is involved. Be polite but be ready. If a trio of sketchy dudes climbs out of the car in front of you or the car behind, be ready to drive off. If they rush toward you holding guns, you know the deal. Drive aggressively away, even if your car is badly damaged. Call 9-1-1 when it's safe to do so. If you are trapped in your car and can't drive away as they approach with the intent to shoot you and take your car, draw and fight back. They don't usually expect armed resistance; they expect scared compliance. You can be scared and still save your life.
This situation (and each of the others) is made even more complicated and dangerous if they take place at night. Low visibility, not having a flashlight at the ready, and the stress of a violent encounter are all advantages for the bad guys.
Carjackings can happen in your driveway, as you prepare to leave for the day or as you return home. Parking lots are another spot – at the mall, at the grocery store, at a park-and-ride where you catch the carpool to work. Be prepared to defend yourself in any situation that veers from the ordinary to the dangerous. You need fast but safe access to your gun.
My personal experience with car jacking
In the first incident, I was stopped at a red light when a suspicious-looking individual approached my car. I immediately sensed danger and reached for my weapon, a S&W 629 44 magnum pointing it in their direction. As soon as they saw the gun, they fled without hesitation. I quickly called the authorities to report the incident and provide a description of the suspect.
The second attempt occurred when I was parked in a dimly lit parking lot. Two individuals approached my car, acting aggressively and demanding that I hand over my keys. Without hesitation, I brandished that same 44 magnum and warned them to stay back. Seeing the gun, they immediately backed off and retreated.
Both experiences taught me the importance of staying vigilant and being prepared for unexpected situations. It's crucial to trust your instincts and take action to protect yourself when faced with potential dangers. However, it's important to note that using a firearm should always be a last resort and only done when there is an imminent threat to your life or the lives of others.
Remember, personal safety should always be a priority, and being prepared can make all the difference in potentially dangerous situations.
Keep your head down and keep the faith,