PNP's Carjacking / Carnapping Prevention Tips

Due to brutal carjacking incidents that took place recently, which sent an alarming signal to car owners, the Philippine National Police (PNP) early this week posted Carjacking / Carnapping Prevention Tips for the public, particularly car owners and motorists, to avoid ending up as victims.

No Carjackingphoto © 2006 Greg Scales | more info (via: Wylio)Here are the tips as provided by the PNP on its official website. We have reposted these Carjacking / Carnapping Prevention Tips here for information dissemination and reference purposes.

Carjacking or Carnapping is stealing a car by force has captured headlines across the country. Statistically your chances of being a carjacking victim are very slim, and prevention actions can reduce the risk even more.

Why is Carjacking/Carnapping a Problem?

No one knows for certain, but some explanations include:
  • It's a crime of opportunity - a thief or criminal groups/syndicates searching for the most vulnerable prey. Sometimes for criminal syndicates, it's the first step in a commission of another crime.
  • For some young people, carjacking may be a rite of passage to a group, a status symbol, or just a thrill.
  • Cars, especially luxury ones, provide quick cash for drug users and other criminals.
  • Sophisticated alarms and improved locking devices make it harder for thieves to steal unoccupied cars.
  • It's easy to buy, steal, or barter for guns in this country. A pointed gun makes a powerful threat.
  • More teens and adults commit crimes of violence than ever before.
  • Intense media interest may have created "copycat" carjackers.
Anywhere, Anyone
  • Though carjackings can occur anytime, a sizable share appear to take place during the late night hours or early morning.
  • Carjacking isn't just a problem in large cities - it happens inside villages and rural areas or far flung municipalities.
  • Carjackers look for opportunity. They don't choose victims by sex, race, or age.
Golden opportunities: what do carjackers look for?
  • Carjackers study their victims first and plans on how to steal their car.
  • Carjackers look for look-a-like cars to steal to be able to sell them easily.
  • Intersections controlled by stop lights or signs.
  • Garages and parking lots for mass transit, shopping malls, and grocery stores.
  • Self-serve gas stations and car washes.
  • ATMs (automated teller machines).
  • Residential driveways and streets as people get into and out of cars.
  • Highway exit and entry ramps, or anyplace else that drivers slow down or stop.
The "Bump and Rob"

It works like this. A car, usually with a driver and at least one passenger, rear-ends or "bumps" you in traffic. You quickly get out to check the damage and exchange information. Either the driver or one of the passengers jumps in your car and drives off.
  • If you're bumped by another car, look around before you get out.
  • Make sure there are other cars around, check out the car that's rear-ended you and who's in it. If the situation makes you uneasy, memorize or jot down the car's tag number and description; signal the other car to follow you. Drive to the nearest police station or to a busy, well-lighted area.
  • If you do get out of the car, take your keys (and purse or wallet if you have one) with you and stay alert.
Reduce Your Risk

Getting In
  • Walk with purpose and stay alert.
  • Approach your car with the key in hand. Look around and inside the car before getting in.
  • Be wary of people asking for 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.
On the Road
  • Keep your doors locked and windows rolled up (at least part-way, if it's hot and you don't have air conditioning), no matter how short the distance or how safe the neighborhood.
  • When you're coming to a stop, leave enough room to maneuver around other cars, especially if you sense trouble and need to get away.
  • Drive in the center lane to make it harder for would-be carjackers to approach the car.
  • Avoid driving alone. Go with someone whenever possible, especially at night.
  • Don't stop to assist a stranger whose car is broken down. Help instead by driving to the nearest phone and calling police to help.
Getting Out
  • Park in well-lighted areas, near sidewalks or walkways. Avoid parking near dumpsters, woods, large vans or trucks, or anything else that limits your visibility.
  • Never leave valuables in plain view, even if the car is locked.
  • Put them in the trunk or out of sight.
  • Try to park in a garage with an attendant. Leave only the ignition key, without identification.
  • Even if you're rushed, look around before you get out and stay alert to the surroundings.
If It Happens to You...
  • If the carjacker threatens you with a gun or other weapon, give up your car. Don't argue. Your life is worth more than a car.
  • Get away from the area as quickly as possible.
  • Try to remember what the carjacker looked like - sex, race, age, hair, eye color, special features, and clothes.
  • Report the crime immediately to the police.
Take Action
  • Work with Barangay or Community Watch groups, law enforcement, automobile club, and other concerned groups to get the word out about carjacking prevention. Try a special flier, a community forum, and posters.
  • Make sure that driver education classes talk to teens about preventing carjacking and other auto theft.
  • Call the radio station and ask the manager to air carjacking prevention tips during airing hours.
  • Ask your insurance agent or company to put carjacking and other auto theft prevention information in notices and bills.
  • Enlist parking lot owners, shopping mall security, and transit authorities and distribute educational materials with carjacking prevention tips.
  • Place carjacking prevention fliers or brochures in the waiting rooms of dealer service departments, auto repair shops and gas stations.
  • Ask your Motor Vehicle Sellers to display carjacking and auto theft prevention advice - posters, handouts, etc.- in its offices and distribute prevention tips in all mailings or in their official websites.
More Information on Preventing Car Theft

Taking precautionary measures can minimize your chances of becoming the victim of car theft. Here are some additional tips you can use to avoid being the victim of a car thieves:
  • Never leave your car unlocked, or running, even to dash into a business shop for just a second.
  • Never leave keys in the car or ignition, inside a locked garage, or in hide-a-key boxes.
  • Always roll up your windows and lock the car, even if it is parked in front of your home.
  • Never leave valuables in plain view, even if your car is locked. Put them in the trunk out-of-sight.
  • Always park in high-traffic, well-lighted areas, when possible.
  • Install a mechanical device that locks the steering wheel, column, or brakes.
  • Investigate the purchase of a vehicle theft tracking/security system, especially if you own one of the frequently-stolen vehicles.
  • Never leave personal identification documents, vehicle ownership title, or credit cards in your vehicle.
  • If you must leave your key with a valet, attendant, or mechanic, leave only the ignition key. Make sure you are dealing with a reputable firm.
  • In high theft areas the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) should be etched on windows, doors, fenders and trunk lid. This makes it difficult for a thief to market your stolen car parts.
  • Copy your license plate and vehicle information (VIN) numbers on a card and keep them with you. If your vehicle is stolen, the police will need this information to take a report.
  • Many vehicles today come with some type of security system from the factory. Normally there are upgraded systems available if you ask. The best choices are systems that shut off the fuel supply so that a car can’t be started or driven.
  • If your vehicle is stolen, report it to the police immediately.

To report carjacking incidents in Metro, the numbers to call the Highway Patrol Group are 726-12-61 to 62 and 0906-374-53-75.