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Simple steps to survive a carjacking

May 7, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Someone is assaulted every 34 seconds in America. Are you putting yourself at risk without even realizing it? There are some simple things you should know that could save your life. From one woman who survived a carjacking, to another who is now a detective, find out what you can do to protect yourself."I was sitting in my car. I sat there just about a minute gathering my things, and I looked up and I saw somebody approaching my car," said Charity Gibson.

And with that, Charity became a carjacking victim.

"All this was going through my mind," Charity said. "'You get into the car, you're dead, you're dead, you're dead.'"

Forced into the trunk, she remembered reading about an emergency trunk release in her owner's manual.

"He backed the car up, and I thought, 'I could pull it now, and I could jump out and run and what's he going to do? Put the car in park and shoot me?" asked Charity.

Locked in darkness, Charity planned her escape

"I felt him slow down. I pulled the trunk release. A light went off in the car that the trunk was ajar. It scared him. I just pushed the trunk open and I jumped out," said Charity.

She took off running in the opposite direction and called 911. It turns out the car behind her was her carjacker's accomplice.

Charity says keeping calm ultimately saved her life. But are most people ready to protect themselves?

"First and foremost, you need to pay attention to your surroundings," said Detective Christine Elias from the Special Assault Unit.

Also, you need to have a game plan

"You need to think, especially if you are going into work, 'Is it going to be dark when I am leaving?' And you need to consider parking by a light source," said Det. Elias.

Think through your approach to the car.

"I am walking with a purpose. My head's up. I am looking around. I look under the car as I approach it. As I walk up to the door, I kind of look in the backseat make sure there's nothing wrong with the interior of the car," said Det. Elias. "Notice my hands are free, I'm not text messaging anyone. I don't have lot of things with me."

Police say if someone asks for your purse, don't just hand it to them. Toss it away from you and run the other way.

 

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