The Riverside Police Department has tips to help residents prevent themselves from being victimized.
Carjacking crimes are plaguing the city of Chicago as well as suburban communities just west of the City of Chicago. “The majority of these crimes are being committed by Chicago gang members from the west and south sides of the city”, said Police Chief Tom Weitzel. “While Riverside has not had any carjacking thus far I wanted to alert our residents that this type of crime is happing in our area”.
The Riverside Police Department has tips to help residents prevent themselves from being victimized:
- Always keep your doors locked and windows up, whether you are inside or out of your car.
- When stopped, keep at least one car length between your and the car in front of you.
- Keep your purse and other valuables in your trunk or out of sight.
- Stay aware of your surroundings at all times.
- Keep watch for individuals approaching your car to ask directions, hand out fliers, ask for money or a ride.
- Before parking your car on a street or in your driveway, make sure you are not being followed. If you suspect you're being followed, drive around the block once or twice to make sure it's safe to park.
- Be aware of bump-and-ride-style offenses, in which a car containing at least two people lightly rear ends or bumps your car. In this instance, once you exit your car one of the offenders will exit and attempt to drive off with your car while you are evaluating the damage. Law enforcement professionals recommend not exiting your vehicle immediately and slowly determining if it is truly an accident or an intentional act. If you sense that it may have been intentional, drive to the nearest police station or well-lit public area.
- Keep your phone charged and readily available at all times. Do not use your phone while driving. Offenders look for victims who appear distracted.
- Keep your car keys and house keys separated.
- Invest in car-tracking services.
- Do not leave your car running unattended for any reason.
- If you are a victim of a carjacking, do not argue or fight with offenders. Immediately leave your car and belongings and call 911.