Archive for category Carjacking

Lock your car doors!

Posted by Rob on Monday, 9 February, 2009

Maybe I am missing something here. There are always Urban Legends floating around. Some are pretty far fetched, some sound like they could be true. But it seems there are people that tend to flip out over them.

Take this one, recently circulating out of the Omaha, Nebraska area:

“I just received this email from a credible source (family). I wanted to pass this on for all to reference as a safety precautionary.

Hi – I wanted to pass this on ASAP this morning. Nicole’s mother (Karrie) was at the post office at 84th and Center on Wed. She was in her car. An older woman came up to the car door and was speaking Spanish and was motioning for her to roll down her window. All of a sudden she grabbed the door handle and tried to open her car door. At the same time – a man appeared at the passenger side door and tried to open that. Karrie’s doors were locked THANK GOD. After the police were called and this was reported – the police told her that they are doing this all over the city. While you are being distracted on one side of your car – there will be someone else trying to get in on the passenger side. DRIVE WITH YOUR DOORS LOCKED AT ALL TIMES.

STAY ALERT AND LOOK AROUND. THIS HAPPENED IN BROAD DAYLIGHT AT A VERY PUBLIC PLACE – A POST OFFICE! According to the police – this is happening several times a day in West Omaha. They also said these creeps have tried leaving notes on cars. When you stop to take the note off your windshield and read it – it gives them time to run up on you. Sorry to send this. I know it is scary – but I thought everybody should know. HEADS UP. LET EVERYBODY KNOW ABOUT THIS.”

I don’t know about you, but after reading it, here are my thoughts:

Yet another reason to make sure your car doors are locked. I always do, cool.

I don’t really care if the report is 100% accurate. I read it, I didn’t fall into an uncontrollable panic, I just took the story as someone making an illustrated point to warn people to lock their car doors. Is locking your car door so bad?

Am I wrong? Is my marketing mind-set taking over my rational thinking? I just don’t see much harm in conveying this warning. Which makes more of a lasting impression, the simple statement “Don’t forget to lock your car door” or the short e-mail story above?

I think the story makes the statement more real to a reader. True or not.

Now if the story stated space aliens attempted to carjack a woman in Nebraska, I’d have to raise the BS flag…

So now this original story prompted all kinds of attention from the local media.

The local Omaha newspaper and TV station reported at least a couple reports claiming the e-mail caused unnecessary panic and was altogether UNTRUE. First Omaha police got all bent out of shape because the e-mail said carjacking only occurs “every once in a while”, not as often as the e-mail depicts. Not in their fair city!

Then after further investigation a few days later they stated the original facts “weren’t even close” to accurate.

Apparently they found a sort of similar report that happened on a Thursday, not the Wednesday mentioned in the e-mail… and the person’s name was actually spelled Carrie with a C, not Karrie with a K… perhaps the man never touched the car, but he was close by and walked away with the woman outside of the car…

Then something about Carrie with a C called 911, not the police like the e-mail said.

Give me a break.

Ok, I hate spam e-mail as much or more as the next guy, but I’m guessing it was a slow news day for all of this attention. I suppose if this story freaked out the residents of Omaha into an uncontrollable panic, there are other underlying issues of greater importance that should be looked into.

I’m sorry, did I say Omaha? I meant Miami. Just kidding Miami, don’t panic!

Just lock your car doors, where ever you live. Because I said so.

And don’t take candy from a stranger, I’d tell you a story about it, but then Memphis would fall into utter chaos.


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California Carjack Warning

Posted by Rob on Monday, 9 February, 2009

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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About to Be Carjacked?

Posted by Rob on Tuesday, 28 August, 2007

I was at a 2-day internet conference this past weekend. It was supposed to be the Boston area, but ended up being at a hotel in Lowell, MA. This ended up being fine, as Lowell is less of a drive. When I Googled the directions is basically told me take this road to this road, to this back road, to this side road, to enter the city on this city street, turn right, turn left, turn right and there’s the hotel in 42 minutes. Nice I though, no Interstate highways.

Besides the couple city street turns onto one way streets with badly labeled street signs and the less than obvious hotel entrance, I finally found the place. Now If you have never been to Lowell, it is a typical inner city. Let’s just say I’m glad I was driving and not walking.

On my way home, at 4:30 PM on Sunday afternoon, I was driving back down one of the longer inner city streets. I was pulling up at a stop light with a run down park to my left, and some run down housing to my right. It was one of
those traffic lights that you wonder why it is there. I pulled up, with no cars behind me, and no cars crossing the other direction. I suppose that it must be a busy intersection on days other than Sunday afternoon to justify its existence.

I was definitely spending more time contemplating that very existence much more than thinking about pepper spray, stun guns or other ways I could defend myself, which brings us to the point of this story.

When I pulled up, there was a guy sitting on the park bench across the street, just behind my car when I stopped. I saw him sitting when I passed and didn’t notice when he stood up and walked towards my car. Even if I saw him get up and start to cross the street, I probably wouldn’t have thought twice about it.

Fortunately, his timing was bad because the split second after he grabbed the driver’s side door handle and lifted up, I was just starting to pull through the now green traffic light. As I kept driving forward, I just barely caught a glimpse of him in my side window smirking and watched him walk back towards the park in my rear view as I drove off.

That smirk was almost enough to make me want to turn around and ask him if there was something important that he wanted to discuss. But I decided it was best to just let the situation diffuse itself without instigating anything further. It wasn’t worth it to test his arsenal.

It happened fast. Way too fast, and it was a good thing my door was locked (as always) and the light just changed. I didn’t notice a visible weapon, but that isn’t to say he wasn’t about to pull one or just try to surprise me and
attempt a physical altercation.

Ok, maybe he wasn’t going to try to carjack or rob me… maybe he was just going to say hello. Perhaps he was doing car door lock checks as a public service and issue me a friendly warning if it was unlocked? I guess he could have just been itching for a blast of pepper spray from my auto visor clip?

Truth be told, carjacking can happen to anyone, at anytime. It doesn’t have to be in the dark at 2 AM in the morning, it can happen at 4:30 PM on a sunny Sunday afternoon. There could have been other cars around. If the door was unlocked, the guy might be able to open the door, pull you out or assault you and drive away before someone in the car behind you could assist. And that is if the person behind you had enough courage to assist in a dangerous situation.

It would be nice to believe that nothing will happen to you, but the reality of it is that an ounce of protection could be worth more than a pound of cure. What is Worth Protection to you? Your belongings? Your family? Your personal well-being?

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More Carjacking Terror

Posted by Rob on Wednesday, 20 June, 2007

I am always reading news reports on crime but for some
reason carjackings always peak my attention more so than the
others. It is stories like these that make you stop and
truly think about your own safety. Or the safety of a loved

This time Sharon, a 14-week pregnant woman thought she and
her unborn baby were about to die when confronted by
violent carjackers threatening to stab her. She had just
left after visiting a friend when she came face-to-face with
three masked men, swearing at her and then demanding the
keys to her sporty Ford Focus.

When she refused, the creeps launched into a terrifying
attack, punching her in the head, striking her face and
hitting her body. Then one of them shouted “stab her”.

“I wouldn’t hand the keys over so they gave me a good
hiding. But as they were pulling me to the floor, I realised
they had a knife and then the tall one was saying ‘just stab
her’ says Sharon, recalling the vividly horrifying details.

“When I first saw them I thought it was a sick joke and I
didn’t believe things like this actually happened.”

“They started punching and kicking me I thought they were
going to kill me.

“I thought at the time that this is it, I’m never going to
see my kids again or my unborn baby.”

As she finally realized the true horror of the situation,
the 36 year-old woman instinctively thought of her daughters
Charlotte and Amy, as well as her unborn child. She then
handed over the keys to the gang, who fled the scene in her

“To assault a pregnant woman like that is just unbelievable
and I can’t believe I’m going to bring my baby into this
evil world.” says Sharon.

“I’ve not slept a wink since it happened and every time I
close my eyes it’s all there – I just can’t believe anyone
would do this.”

Sharon was walking to her car in broad daylight on the side
of the road at about 5.50 PM. The attack has left more than
physical scars as she now fears for the safety of her
children and is petrified to leave her home.

Just two days before Sharon’s ordeal, another family living
nearby were threatened with a gun when thieves targeted a
black Subaru on their driveway. A gang of masked men gave
the family seconds to hand over their car keys after they
were held at gun and knife point in their living room.

Armed with a grey revolver and machetes, they kicked down
the door of the house as the family was preparing for bed.
One of the men pointed the revolver at them and said he
would shoot unless they handed over the keys to their black
Subaru. He gave them a count of one.

Frantically, the couple began searching for the keys but
they were unable to find them and so handed over a second
set of keys, belonging to their silver Toyota Yaris that was
also parked outside. The three masked men then left in that
car, leaving the family severely traumatized, but unharmed.

The next day, it was reported that the family’s Toyota was
thought to be used in a second frightening raid at a nearby
pizza restaurant. The Yaris drove to the back of the
building at about 10:30 PM and the men, again armed with a
revolver and a machete, walked through an unlocked back
door. The gun was then pointed at the restaurant staff and
the gang took money before fleeing the scene.

The cost of arming yourself with the piece of mind that you
have a chance to protect yourself in what could end up in a
horrible situation is really priceless. For about $100, you
can quite effectively even the odds with one of our Self
Defense Starter Packages.


For any number of other options, build your own arsenal from
our wide selection of stun guns, tasers, pepper sprays,
personal alarms, knives, etc. There is a self defense kit
ready to be built in any size, potency and in some cases
color. Above all, practice using your gear and know how
to use it when it counts.

It would be nice to believe that nothing will happen to
you, but the reality of it is that an ounce of protection
could be worth more than a pound of cure. What is Worth
Protection to you? Your belongings? Your family? Your
personal well-being?

Yours in safety,


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Carjacked, Worst Case Scenario

Posted by Rob on Sunday, 6 May, 2007

Everybody likes a story with a happy ending. You know how
they go… Cinderella, Snow White, they start out as sad story
but deep down you know everything will turn out fine in the
end. Sadly, these stories are make believe. Just like many
of the stories that I share with you, some are real, some
are made up to make a point. Most of the time these stories
have happy endings, finishing with the victim pulling out a
stun gun or pepper spray just in the nick of time.

This story was published in the Malaysia Star on Friday May
4, 2007. A man was driving to work very early in the
morning in Singapore. On this particular instance, his wife
and young son were accompanying him into the city at about 4
am. The man stops his car at a gas station, leaves it
running and runs inside quick to use the bathroom. Moments
after he leaves the car, the wife is started by another man
wielding a knife and knocking on the window, demanding she
opens the door.

This is where I would like to say she slowly reaches up and
grabs her Pepper Shot auto visor pepper spray, rolls down
the window just enough to discharge the pepper spray into
the assailant’s eyes. That did not happen. My next
alternate scene would have been she calmly reaches over to
the steering wheel and lays on the horn continuously,
drawing the attention of a bystander or her husband who runs
over to the car as the assailant runs away. That did not
happen either.

What did happen, according to the newspaper was the victim
opened the door. Fearing for the safety of her
three-year-old son, she opened the door and complied with
the request. The stranger then drove the car to pick up his
friend who was nearby. Threatening to harm her son if she
struggled, they blindfolded her and drove to a secluded

The woman pleaded with the men, told them she was pregnant
and begged to let her and her son go. Instead, they took
turns having their way with her. After the rape, the men
drove and picked up another man. The three men then dropped
the woman and her son off and drove away with the vehicle
and all their belongings inside. Pick up to drop off, this
incident lasted three hours.

Two days later the car was recovered in a nearby city.
Carjacked by knife-point, held hostage, gang-raped, and
robbed, all while fearing for the safety of her child, this
story has no happy ending.

The only good that can come from a story as terrible as this
is the awareness that comes from others hearing about it,
and hopefully prevent a similar incident from happening.
Always have your car doors locked, always. Never open your
car door while you are still safely inside. Draw attention
to the situation by blasting your horn indiscriminately. Don’t
let it get to a second location, it is always worse than the
first. Always have some form of self defense products on
hand, and know how to use them.

It would be nice to believe that nothing will happen to you,
but the reality of it is that an ounce of protection could
be worth more than a pound of cure. What is Worth Protection
to you? Your belongings? Your family? Your personal

Stay safe and be prepared!

Yours in Safety,

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