Carjacking & Auto Theft Prevention | Mace® Brand
Carjacking & Auto Theft Is on the Rise: Here’s What You Can Do To Stay Safe and Protect Your Property.
October is National Crime Prevention Month, so the team at Mace® Brand is thinking extra hard about ways to help people stay safe. That starts with understanding the crimes that are most prevalent right now in 2023. One that is moving to the top of our watch list is automobile theft and carjacking.
These crimes have become an issue in Greater Cleveland, where Mace® Brand is headquartered. A report from local news team WKYC in July 2023 indicated that car thefts are up a staggering 98% from last year. As of July 8, 2023, 3,480 cars were stolen in the city, compared to 1,753 from last year.
It appears this trend isn’t isolated to the State of Ohio. ABC News recently highlighted a report from the FBI that indicates car thefts around the United States were up 10% in 2022. The article went on to note that carjackings saw a noticeable increase from 2021 to 2022—and they continue to go up in 2023, according to statistics from police departments around the country.
How can you stay safe and protect your personal property? More on that ahead, but first, let’s explore these crimes more.
What’s the difference between carjacking and car theft?
Car theft (or grand theft auto) involves taking property without the owner being aware. For example, if someone steals your car from your driveway, that’s not carjacking. But, if you happen to be in your car while someone attempts to take it from you at gunpoint, that’s carjacking. The key difference between car theft and carjacking is using force against a person.
Where do these crimes take place?
Car theft can happen almost anywhere your car is parked—in a parking lot, on the street, or even in your driveway. Carjacking can also occur anywhere, but it always involves you being inside the car as you’re going about your business.
Carjacking is most common in these locations:
- Self-serve gas stations
- Desolate intersections
- Parking garages
- Highway exit ramps
One way carjackers try to lure potential victims is by causing a fender bender, maybe lightly rear-ending your car, and then taking it by force. They may also set up what looks like an accident scene to entice good samaritans to action. Carjackers may even try to follow an unwitting person home and steal their car upon arrival.
What cars are stolen the most?
According to Insurify, these are the top 10 cars criminals target because of poor anti-theft systems or high resale value.
- Chevrolet full-size pickups
- GMC full-size pickups
- Ford full-size pickups
- Kia Optima
- Honda CR-V
- Hyundai Sonata
- Hyundai Elantra
- Honda Civic
- Honda Accord
- Toyota Camry
How to stay safe and protect your property
There’s no way to avoid criminal activity entirely, but there are steps you can take to put the odds in your favor. Mace® Brand now offers Mobile Pepper Spray Defense Systems. These innovative new systems are easy to install and help protect you in a carjacking scenario. The system is installed on the vehicle’s roof and dispenses pepper spray in multiple directions outside the vehicle, stopping criminals in their tracks.
Here are some other steps you can take to protect yourself and your property:
- Stay Vigilant: Always be aware of your surroundings and trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable, leave and get help.
- Lock Your Doors: Keep your car doors locked while driving, even during the daytime. Carjackers often strike when they see an opportunity.
- Park in Well-Lit Areas: Avoid secluded, poorly lit spots. Lighting deters criminals and can make it easier to identify suspicious individuals.
- Create Space: While stopped in traffic, leave space between your car and the one in front of you, allowing you to maneuver if necessary.
- Keep Your Windows Up: Only roll down your windows partially when interacting with strangers and avoid making idle chit-chat.
- Avoid Distractions: Distracted drivers are more vulnerable to carjackings. Stay focused on the road and avoid using your phone or getting lost in thought.
- Stay Calm: If confronted by a carjacker, remain calm. Your life is more valuable than your vehicle. Comply with their demands, then report the incident to the police.
- Install Anti-Theft Measures: Invest in anti-theft devices such as steering wheel locks, GPS tracking systems, car alarms, or our Mobile Pepper Spray Defense Systems.
Last but not least…
This goes without saying, but we’re going to say it anyway: Always carry your personal protection device with you. Make a habit of grabbing your pepper spray, pepper gel, stun gun, or personal alarm every time you leave your home. It can give you a fighting chance if you encounter a scary situation.
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