In light of the report of two “bump and run” carjackings in Kearny within 24 hours [see p. 1 story), I decided to do a little research on the crime. Like, what do you do if you get “bumped” yourself?
One officer we spoke to suggested that, rather than getting out of your vehicle, you drive slowly to a gas station or some other well-lit place where there are plenty of people.
And call 911.
Surfing the web, we found an abundance of info on the Pittsburgh Police Department site, which notes: “Most carjackings happen in as little as 15 seconds, when the thief (generally armed) suddenly appears and demands that the driver surrender the car.”
It also notes: “The FBI reports that the primary motives for carjacking are to secure transportation . . . to commit another crime, such as drug trafficking.” Which likely explains why the two Kearny vehicles were so quickly abandoned: The culprits may have used them for some other felony and then dumped them.
The Pittsburgh cops warn that carjackers “attack motorists at traffic lights [and stop signs], gas stations, parking lots, fast food drive-thrus and in other areas where they are stopped or exiting their vehicles.”
And, as happened in Kearny: “. . . thieves in one car pull up behind an unsuspecting driver and bump the driver’s car. When the driver gets out to inspect the damage, the thieves forcibly take control of the car.”
The Pa. police advise always locking your car doors and suggest driving in the center lane on highways to reduce chances of becoming a bump-and-run victim. But I wonder: In the dead of night, when traffic is light, would that really matter?
In any case, we need to note that the Internet offers advice not merely to potential victims. We also found: What to Do If You Are Caught Carjacking. This is, of course, from the website of a lawyer.
He begins a July 4 blog post by noting that “some people have not had such a good weekend so far” and details a gunpoint carjacking/abduction in his neck of the woods. He then offers: “If you have ever been charged with robbery, burglary, or theft (especially carjacking), you need a criminal defense lawyer who’s going to be aggressive when fighting for your legal rights. [Yada, yada, yada.] Have a fun and safe holiday.”
No, you can’t make this stuff up.
— Karen Zautyk
P.S. At the bottom of the blog is a comment from a woman who calls the lawyer’s post “opportunistic and despicable” and who asks, “Why don’t you just say, ‘Go ahead and rob and terrorize victims to your heart’s content. I’m here to defend you’?”
Her name is Karen.
It wasn’t me. Although …