Car Jacking

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Description or situation

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Overview

Car jacking is a crime that inevitable involves victims. It is typically considered a crime where an assailant attempts to steal a vehicle with the owner occupants nearby or inside the vehicle while implementing violent behavior. Victims of carjackings are not however limited to being the owner occupant of the vehicle being taken. Collateral damage can occur as a result as victims can be innocent bystanders who have been assaulted during the event. Just the same are those circumstance which can occur during the crime which can extend to others on the road, family members who have been dragged into the crime and police and law enforcement who have engaged in high speed chases with the aim of stopping the crime. Car jacking is essentially a violent crime where hostages are taken for periods of time and released down the road or killed during the event.

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The following is intended to provide information relative to the crime known as "Carjacking"

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What is Carjacking?

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The definition of Carjacking is summarized as the unlawful seizure of an automobile. A violent hijacking of the vehicle an it's occupant(s). The crime of "Carjacking" is relatively new in comparison to vehicle theft. This is not to be confused with the act of "Car-hacking", ... a vehicular crime without a suspect in sight.

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Car-hacking can be best defined as a vehicular computer intrusion, which can have an array of terrible consequences. "Car-hacking" is what it sounds like. Vehicals with computers, (which is most vehicles now days), can be subject to a cyber attack. Tech-savvy thieves have some surprising ways of committing such intrusions. In fact, a growing number of vehicles today can be unlocked and started by a mobile phone or via the Internet. They can be disabled the same way. All that’s required is some system data and a password. Car hacking can however lead to a violent crime once an assialent has access to a victims vehicle. Want to see more on this trick go here. [Document] , [Video]

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Origins of Carjacking

The News industry first used the term "carjacking" in an August 28th, 1991 report of a violent vehicle theft. The term was coined by reporter Scott Bowles and editor EJ Mitchell becoming the term used regularly to categorized the crime. Shortly after, between 1992 & 1996), a study was conducted by the NCVS which indicated that each year approximately 49,000 carjackings and attempts occur in the United States. About half of the reported carjackings failed, even if the carjacker was armed. The nature of a carjacking generally involves the threat or use of a weapon during the theft. Coupled with a high level of aggression carjackings have become a highly dangerous situation to be in, ... for both victim and perpetrator. Some motorists are armed, well trained and stubborn enough to put up a fight. This can present a challenge for many carjackers. Some may turn and retreat while others will react with full force in the attempt to gain control of the situation. This can increase the potential of the crime becoming a fatality for both victim and perpetrator. Because of the risk for the assailant the potential to use fast and deadly force is greater.

Carjacking may have been born as a result of the advancements in anti theft technology. This type of vehicular crime has been on the rise since the implementation of vehicle alarm systems, locking devices, and other anti-car theft technology. Lets face it. If you or someone you know has had the unfortunate experience of having a car or truck stolen than you understand how frustrating it can be to deal with the consequences.

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Who commits carjacking crimes?

Suspects and assailants of this type of violent crime are bold and often encouraged by the use of drugs and alcohol which makes it easier to inflict bodily harm or injury to the victims during the crime. Especially if they are armed and feeling powerful. The true nature behind who commits a carjacking crime is the same as it would be for most any other burglary with a few exceptions. Burglars are generally satisfied with the acquisition of valuables which can be spawned or sold for compensation or money and are not as interested in encountering obstacles associated with meeting the owners of the target property. Carjackers on the other hand are often profiled as violent in addition to being criminally minded and may enjoy the violent nature of the crime itself.

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Causes for Carjacking

Those who have retrieved their vehicle as well as the valuables from inside probable thought about how to prevent it from happening again. This usually prompts victims of theft to install alarms on their vehicles. As time marches forward we continue to add all sorts of preventative measures and tactics to our vehicles with the aim of keeping them from being stolen or broken into. This has proven to be an advantage in theft prevention and with the implementation of GPS trackers stealing a vehicle has become far less attractive than in previous years. However, ... as a result criminals had to adapt to changing technology and become smarter and bolder about committing vehicular theft.

For some criminals the use of technology became the tools of the trade while others relied on brute force which is not as easily curtailed by gadgets and technology. Waiting for the owner or driver of a vehicle to unlock and shut off the alarms was one sure way of getting inside. The other method used to take valuables or the vehicle itself was to take it from a motorists while at a stop light or other location where it became necessary to stop for a moment.

With that being said the idea of stealing a vehicle with it's occupants became a solution for many thieves. This type solution requires the kind of gall and courage that is generally found in aggressive type people who have no problem using violence. Carjacking is a higher risk crime to succeed in and for that reason excessive and often deadly force is used to accomplish the goal. Especially if the assailant suspects the motorist might be armed.

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What are the effects of a carjacking?

Carjackings presents a huge risk for drivers who are not prepared for such an event. The scope of a carjacking generally starts with the intent to gain money or valuables from the occupants of the vehicle but is not limited to that outcome. The vehicle itself is often taken and the occupants forced to get out. In many cases the occupants are taken along with the vehicle which escalates the crime to kidnapping. Occasionally victims have been forced to make bank withdraws or remove other valuable assets from secure locations. From that point the progression of the crime may have serious consequences leading to aggravated assault, rape and even homicide.

The effects on survivors of a carjacking can leave emotional consequences that can extend for many years. Some victims under go extensive therapy to get past the fear of driving due to horrific experiences. 

Drivers who may be susceptible to carjacking crimes are those who are unprepared and unaware of their surroundings and unwillingly make themselves a target of opportunity.

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When and how can a carjacking occur?

"Carjackings" can occur at anytime and anywhere. Especially in areas that are obscure and susceptible to vulnerabilities. Target areas include parking lots and garages, stop lights and intersection and one’s own driveway. It's an advantage to be prepared and observant. Having a fire arm or other weapon of deterrence in not enough. Awareness, education and training are key to carjacking prevention. Assailants utilize specific criteria to select their victims or targets. Carjackers tend to focus on potential victims who appear unaware and in a comfort zone of sorts. About 65% of carjackings occur near the victims home. Carjackers typically look for the easiest opportunity which is most often when the keys have just unlocked the door of a vehicle or been inserted onto the ignition. Make no mistake, ... carjackers are still after valuables which often includes the vehicle. Occupied vehicles change the nature of the crime to kidnapping. Carjackers tend to rob lone victims most often because it offers less resistance and therefore accounts for 92% of all attempts. Additional target areas have been associated with business establishments. A heavier activity of carjackings occur near shopping centers, gas stations, car washes, convenience stores, ATMs, hotels, fast food drive thru and outside of retail stores. Locations near freeway on ramps add desirability for assailants for a quick escape. It is important to understand a few tactics involving multiple assailants. A popular method used in carjackings is to block or trap the victims car at a stop light and hijack the vehicle very quickly. Deceptive methods include the fake fender bender or "bump" which prompts the victims to pull over.

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The chaos of additional players

Sometimes a carjacking involves rescue attempts by witnesses or motorists who have chosen to engage in pursuing the assailants. That can be helpful or cause more harm than good. There have been incidents where witnesses participated in high speed chases while following carjackers and they ended up as victims themselves or injuring innocent bystanders. Carjacking is a crime created out of the need to adapt and react to technical advancements used in vehicle theft prevention.

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Until the time comes where the act of carjacking can be prevented 100% the best course of action is to educate and be prepared.

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Below are variations of carjackings presented with the intent to offer a better understanding for the nature of the crime.

 

 

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  Find  "solutions to carjacking" 

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