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News Release

Friday, March 30, 2001

Media Relations

LAPD Takes Steps to Educate the Public Against Predators Who Attack Vulnerable Motorists

Los Angeles - Vehicle Robbery or carjacking is defined as the taking of a motor vehicle from another by the use of force or fear. Carjacking is by no means a new crime, nor is it sweeping the nation in epidemic proportions. Vehicle owners have been victims of this crime for decades. The term carjacking was coined by the news media. The term has raised fear levels out of proportion, as compared to the actual probability of becoming a victim. Realistically, this is a crime of low probability, but potentially high consequences.

"The Vehicle Robbery/Carjacking Prevention month circular contains important crime prevention strategies aimed at protecting motorists," states Commander Sharon Papa, Department spokesperson. "Carjackers focus on people who are unaware or unprepared, the circular is full of tips to help people reduce the risk of becoming a victim."

Crime Prevention Tips:

  • Always keep your vehicle door locked. When possible, drive in the lane nearest the center of the road to distance any would-be pedestrian attackers from your vehicle.
  • Know the area in which you are traveling. Take the time to learn the locations of the police and fire stations and emergency rooms. Avoid shortcuts that take you on dark isolated streets.
  • If you feel you are being followed by another vehicle, do not drive home. Drive to the nearest police or fire station, hospital emergency room or nearest open business for help.
  • If you are confronted by someone who has a weapon and demands your vehicle, COMPLY!

There are many more strategies outlined in the "Vehicle Robbery "Carjacking" Prevention Month Circular." For more information, or to obtain copies of the Community Crime Prevention Circulars, contact the Community Liaison/Crime Prevention Unit, Community Relations Section, LAPD, at 213-485-3134.

For further information regarding the press conference, please contact Media Relations Section at 213-485-3586.