Archive for category Urban Legends

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.

Sigh.

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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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