Steps to protect yourself from getting your car jacked

NHTSA carjacking prevention tips
NHTSA carjacking prevention tips(NHTSA)
Published: Apr. 21, 2022 at 6:03 PM CDT
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(WEEK) - Twice in the past month Peoria Police have released information on violent carjackings.

At the federal level, the FBI reports 430 motor vehicle thefts in Peoria County, in total last year.

On Monday, April 18, a woman was hit by a vehicle during a carjacking. Each year Peoria Police report hundreds of stolen cars. But there are ways to protect yourself - and your car - from becoming a target.

“Be a hard target, we call it here,” said Tracie Utley of Good Sheperd Defense and Training. “Don’t be someone that is easily approached. Trust that gut.”

Good Shepherd Defense and Training teaches Peorians self-defense and proper gun ownership. They say victims are never at fault in a theft or attack but being aware of your surroundings is a good first step toward prevention.

“If something doesn’t feel right you see something that doesn’t look right you feel out of place - it’s okay to walk away it’s okay to pull away drive away go to the next parking spot,” Utley said.

The key is knowing your distractions and being proactive. That means staying off the phone and remembering to lock your doors.

The Department of Transportation advises keeping your keys with you and parking in well-lit areas when possible.

Sometimes simply having something worth stealing in view can be irresistible for thieves.

Some of the most common things stolen are doors, engines, transmissions, air bags, radios, gps units, cell phones, ipads, laptops, and purses.

Hiding valuables, locking your doors, and using the alarm system can all help.

But Peoria Police say if you are a victim of a carjacking you should report it quickly.

Chances are good, that car can be recovered.

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