Safety Tips to Prevent a Carjacking

by Safety Connection

One area on the west side of Madison has been hit with three stranger carjackings since August 19th. The latest occurred early Tuesday morning. A woman who had just arrived home at around 1:45am was accosted by a man who pointed a black handgun at her and told her to exit her vehicle.

Today (10/14) Madison Police released an update:

The three carjacking cases have occurred between the hours of 11:00 PM and 2:00 AM with residents arriving home to generally empty streets. MPD’s sense at this time is that suspects have a connection to this area of the city and are in the area and looking for an additional vehicle for use in their criminal activities. They appear to be watching for an alone occupant approaching a residence and typically approach immediately as the vehicle comes to a stop. This is likely done in the hope that the vehicle is still unlocked, running, or at least with keys still in the ignition or easily accessible. Be aware of your surroundings as you approach your residence and watch for occupied cars in the area.

They also included tips for protecting yourself from a carjacking and what to do if someone confronts you:

  • If parking in your garage, consider remaining in the car with the car door locked until the garage door is fully down.
  • If parking on the street, in a parking lot, or a driveway, pause momentarily after coming to a stop. Keep car doors locked and monitor the area. If being approached by another vehicle, remain in your locked vehicle and consider your route out of the area should you decide that it would be best to drive away out of the area and call for assistance.
  • If confronted by an armed person demanding your property, separate yourself from your property, and move slowly away from the armed suspect(s). Your personal safety is the priority in these situations. Protect yourself and do your very best to be the best possible witness you can be to pass along detailed information to the officers who will respond when notified.
  • Assess the area around your home for large areas of darkness that can be addressed with additional lighting. Consider parking in the best lit area possible.
  • Assess your routines, especially related to returning home in overnight hours of darkness. Give thought to your route home and where you would expect to see parked cars. Watch for occupied parked vehicles or vehicles moving slowly in the neighborhood. If you routinely arrive home between the hours of 11 PM and 2:00 am in the area recently being targeted, consider working with a family member or neighbor to have someone meet you as you arrive with additional exterior lights on. 
  • Neighborhood associations or apartment complexes can increase information-sharing to keep residents aware of updates to this spree and/or new criminal behavior in the area.

You can reach out to MPD if you have additional questions:

MPD is confident that we will collectively bring this crime spree to an end and the individuals responsible will be held accountable. Your safety is our priority and we will do everything we can to protect you and your property. Citizens are encouraged to reach out to their respective districts with questions or concerns, MPD is willing to arrange a neighborhood meeting at any time upon request.

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