Anti-carjack tips

Posted at 01/20/2011 6:00 PM | Updated as of 01/21/2011 10:57 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The new wave of gruesome carjacking cases in Metro Manila since last week has made many motorists concerned about security.

How can one avoid becoming a victim of carjacking?

Police share tips

The Philippine National Police (PNP) on its website, pnp.gov.ph, has shared tips on how to lessen the risk of being victimized.

1. Know how carnappers operate.

The PNP said carnapping or carjacking, can occur anytime of the day, but this usually takes place during the late night hours or early morning.

The PNP noted that carjackers look for the "opportunity" to steal a car in intersections with stoplights, parking lots of shopping malls and grocery stores, self-serve gas stations and car wash shops, and areas near ATMs.

Carnappers also employ several strategies, such as the "Bump and Rob," where the carjacker rear-ends or bumps you in traffic. Once you get out to check the damage, the carjacker jumps into your car and drives off.

To prevent this, one must take the car keys when getting off the car to check the damage, or better yet, don't get off. Signal the other car to follow you to a well-lit place or a police station.

2. Stay alert.

To avoid being victimized, the PNP says one must always stay alert and approach the car with the key in hand. Look around and inside your car before getting in.

One must also be wary of people asking for directions and handing out fliers.

3. Keep your doors locked and windows rolled up.

4. Drive in the center lane to make it harder for would-be carjackers to approach the car.

5. Don't stop to assist a stranger whose car seemingly broke down.

6. If the carjacker threatens you with a gun or other weapon, give up your car.

Don't argue. Your life is worth more than a car.

Get away from the area as quickly as possible but try to remember how the carjacker looks like.

7. Report the crime immediately to the police.

The Highway Patrol Group Tactical Operations Center may be reached at (02) 726-12-61 to 62 and 0906-374-5375. Or call the PNP hotline at 117.

Authorities said car thieves' preferred vehicles are the following:

  • Toyota Vios
  • Mitsubishi L-300
  • Honda Civic
  • Nissan Urvan
  • Isuzu Crosswind
  • Hyundai Starex

Gadgets to deter carnapping

There are also gadgets available that can help deter carnapping.

The cheapest form is the steering wheel lock that can prevent theft of parked cars.

As the name implies, it can lock the steering wheel with the brake or gas pedal or even lodge it to the windshield. It costs around P250-P500.

One can also have the car plate number etched on windows, windshields and side mirrors. This discourages carnappers from taking the vehicle since it would be a hassle for them to replace all the windows. Safety glass etching service costs P1,900.

Then, there is the car alarm. It would trip as soon as a robber tries to open a car door with a spare key or uses forced physical entry. And while the alarm is on and not yet disabled, the car cannot be started even with a spare key.

At the high end is an anti-carnap device that stalls a vehicle 25 seconds after a car is stolen and the driver does not press the hidden disarm switch. This device sells for P16,000 and does not void the warranty of a brand new vehicle.

Tips from viewers

On ANC, viewers also shared their own anti-carnapping tips:

cvill14 said: "Scrap the dark tint and make it clear. Leave nothing inside so thieves checking out your car will see nothing and leave it alone."

louiesayas wrote: "Choose where you park well. If you had the money to buy expensive cars, you might as well have the 'coins' to park somewhere else."

And Marcuz Uragon shared: "Install a GPRS where you can control your car anywhere through the Internet. You will have exact information where your car is and can also stop the engine." -- Reports from ANC and TJ Manotoc, ABS-CBN News