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Valley Briefing

CARJACKING : Don't Be a Victim

September 08, 1993

Although the Los Angeles Police Department estimates that carjackings last year made up onlyabout 6% of the city's 74,916 auto thefts-22,376 eof those thefts in the San Fernando Valley-therandom and often violent nature of the crime has unnerved motorists thoughout the city.

Although these crimes are highly publicized, the odds of becoming a victim are low, police say. Regardless, the LAPD advises drivers to take precautions, both around the car and on the road. *Valley Carjackings The San Fernando Valley has been the scene for some of the more violent carjackings this year:Esther Keely, a 73-year-old Chatsworth resident, suffered a broken jaw, hip and nose after a 14-year-old carjacker pushed her out of her moving car in Canoga Park on March 11. He was sentenced to nine years in the California Youth Authority.

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Naghi Ghoraishy of Chatsworth was shot to death during a carjacking at a gas stationnear his house on March. 15. *

Sherri Foreman, who was pregnant, was fatally stabbed March 30 during a carjacking attempt at a Sherman Oaks ATM. *

On April 21, aspiring Chatsworth actor Thomas Martin MacDowell was gunned down as he parked his car in North Hollywood.* Carjackings in L.A. 1990: 4,169 1991: 4,392 1992: 4,671 *Cars stolen in city of Los Angeles in 1992: 74,916 Vehicles registered in Los Angeles County: 6,243,838 *Typical Carjacking WHERE: Mostly in big cities, and at stop signs and lights. WHEN: Mostly at night. WHAT CARJACKERS LOOK FOR: Opportunity. They do not choose by sex, race or age. *IF YOU'RE INVOLVED IN A SUSPICIOUS ACCIDENT: If you are hit by someone who has been following you or you suspect the accident has been staged, do not stop in a remote area to inspect the damage. Motion the other driver to follow you to a busy, well-lighted location to exchange information. Use your emergency flashers. *IF YOU'RE ON THE ROAD: 1. Keep doors locked and windows closed. 2. Drive in center lane. 3. Drive on well-lighted and traveled streets. 3. Do not wear valuable jewelry and place other valuables in trunk. 4. When stopping, leave enough room to maneuver and escape. 5. Avoid driving alone if you can, especially at night. *IF YOU'RE BEING FOLLOWED: 1. Drive to the nearest police station or busy area. Do not drive home. 3. Always write down the license number of the car, and a description of the car and its occupants. *IF YOU'RE CONFRONTED: If outside your vehicle, give it up and flee if possible. If someone tries to take you with him, you should assume he intends to harm you. Individual circumstances vary, but running or falling to the ground may be effective techniques to avoid abduction. If inside your car, offer a credit card or a cash withdrawal card to distract the attacher. This may give you the opportunity to get out of the vehicle and run. * Travel with other people if possible. Be wary of strangers approaching you. Walk with purpose, stay alert and approach your car with keys in hand. Look in and around your vehicle before entering. Park in well-lighted open areas; be aware that a dumpster or truck could hide a robber. Keep your valuables out of sight. If possible, park in lots or garages with attendants. Source: Los Angeles Police Department

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