An e-mail titled “A Warning from Whittier Police” (in California) has been circulating the internet recently via e-mail and blogs since late January. The text reads as follows:

“I am sending this to all of you, per the advice of the Whittier Police.

Last night on my way home from work, I was followed off the freeway without realizing it. A lot of people take the Telegraph off ramp to go home. Then I turned left on Norwalk going north.

This Van pulled up on my right side and told me that my right rear tire was going flat and that I should pull over and let him put my spare on. I was only 2 miles from home and in an industrial area where no gas stations, etc. so told him NO THANKS, and kept going slow the rest of 20 the way home. When I got home I told Richard what had happened and he checked my tire. The tire was perfectly OK. That’s when I realized what had happened and it scared me to death.

According to the Police there are allot of car jacking going on, then they rob you of everything (money, jewelry, etc) due to the economy. The best thing I could do was to let the gals at work know to be more than careful of their surroundings. It’s happening all over Southern California, not just LA or Orange Counties.

Please my friends, be very careful out there.”

Although the ruse of trying to convince a motorist that they have a flat tire (or any other serious auto problem) and need to pull over immediately has been around for awhile, the possibility for an actual account is valid. Carjacking, robbery, assault, rape or worse could happen as a result, as well as the chance you actually have a softening tire that may need repair.

Several years ago I ran the front end of my 1989 Mustang partially into a ditch. You kinda of had to be there to truly see the scenario, but when the tow truck came, the only way to pull it out was at an angle that caused my rear axel to become bent.

Besides the now bent rear axel, the car was fine. It only went far enough into the ditch for undercarriage just past the front tires to hit the ground, leaving the tires freely spinning in the air. So when it was pulled out safely, the car was drivable, with the exception that one of the back tires wobbled. Pretty bad I guess, but I couldn’t drive and see the tires at the same time.

I don’t know how many people tried to legitimately flag me down and let me know my “rear tire was about to fall off”. It wasn’t, and it took me months to get around to fixing it.

I swear I would have left it longer if I wasn’t being bothered so much by so many concerned people letting me know there was something wrong. The car was mostly fine, I just wanted people to stop honking and waving at me.

I know, my freaking axle is bent, thanks for reminding me of the ditch incident!

But I digress, back to Whittier, California. The local police can basically neither confirm or deny the intent of the van in question but did post the reply on their blog:

“The originator of this email did in fact contact the Whittier Police Department to report the above facts and a report was taken.

For clarification purposes, the Whittier Police Department did not advise the caller that “there are a lot of car jackings going on”. The Department has not received any other reports that involve these sets of circumstances, which led to a car jacking.
While there is no definite way at this time to determine the true intent of the van driver, motorists are encouraged to report any suspicious activity to the Whittier Police Department.”

Usually these internet rumors that get forwarded all over the internet have both some merit, and some exaggeration to them. You would tend to believe that they are well intentioned when created.

Even if the entire story was concocted from fiction, one should stop for a moment a think about the scenario. Not so far fetched, and not just in California.

The Auto Visor Pepper Spray (PS-4) contains a formula of 10% Oleoresin Capsicum with 2 million Scoville Heat Units that can immediately stop an attacker in his tracks. Additionally, the police will have no problem identifying who you sprayed with the UV marking dye contained in the pepper spray.

The Pepper Spray with the Auto Visor clip is a simple way to make sure you always have your pepper spray available for emergency protection. If someone comes up to you in your vehicle and poses a threat, you will be able to reach up, grab your pepper spray, and spray it out the cracked window at your assailant, if necessary.

Just a heads up. Be Safe, Be Prepared, Always use your head…

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