Carjacker Strategy: Place Paper On Your Rear Window
Status: Theoretically could happen (though there's no solid evidence it ever has)
You may have received this email warning recently:
Imagine: You walk across the parking lot, unlock your car and get inside. Then you lock all your doors, start the engine and shift into REVERSE. Habit!
You look into the rear-view window to back out of your parking space and you notice a piece of paper, some sort of advertisement stuck to your rear window. So, you shift into PARK, unlock your doors and jump out of your vehicle to remove that paper (or whatever it is) that is obstructing your view... when you reach the back of your car, that is when the car-jackers jump out of no where ... jump into your car and take off -- your engine was running, your purse is in the car, and they practically mow you down as they speed off in your car.
BE AWARE OF THIS NEW SCHEME
Just drive away and remove the paper that is stuck to your window later and be thankful that your read this email and that you forwarded it to your friends.
I got it and dismissed it as a hoax, given its similarity to the false warning about people trying to sell perfume
in parking lots. (They supposedly get you to sniff the perfume which is really ether and knocks you out.) But an article in the Mercury News
notes that it might be worth paying attention to the paper-on-the-rear-window warning. They interview a California Highway Patrol officer who says:
I have heard of this a few times, and it is true. What makes it popular among car thieves is that it's non-confrontational (no gun or threat needed) which equals a lesser fine or sentence if they're caught. And it's a lot easier than traditional methods. Your readers should definitely heed this advice to drive away.
notes that the warning might be a bit overblown, but also cautions that: "Much more important than worrying about whether or not to remove a piece of paper stuck to your windshield, therefore — in any situation where you might be vulnerable to a carjacking — is being aware of your surroundings and taking note of who may be lurking nearby as you enter or exit your automobile."
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