Car Jacking….A Crime of Opportunity
Carjacking’s seem to be occurring more often. Carjacking is defined as “the taking of a motor vehicle which may be the subject of larceny from the person or custody of another, with intent to either permanently or temporarily deprive the person or the owner of the motor vehicle, when in the course of the taking there is the use of force, violence, assault, or putting in fear.” 49th Street Bail Bonds wants you to be safe and to avoid being a victim.
Why is this type of crime one of opportunity? Unfortunately, people are distracted by phones, by their kids, or just don’t pay attention to common safety practices. Carjackers try and pick victims who are distracted or who are parked in isolated areas. Carjackers work at night and during day time hours. At night, carjackers like to target parking lots and intersections that are poorly lit. During the day, carjackers like to target driveways and entrances into gated communities.
Our team at 49th Street Bail Bonds offers these tips to help prevent you from becoming a victim of a carjacking:
•Park in a well-lit, highly trafficked, and secure area.
•Always lock your doors and keep your windows shut.
•Keep your valuables locked in the trunk. Do not leave valuables visible on the seat.
•If you have an anti-theft device, then use it.
•Do not leave the car running while you make a quick trip back inside the house/store/etc to get something.
•Do not leave the keys in the ignition.
•Avoid driving alone at night when possible.
•Do not stop for stranded strangers. If you see people needing help, get their location and call for help once you are at a safe place.
•Always be alert. Look around your vehicle and in your vehicle before getting in the vehicle.
•Always trust your instincts. If you are approaching your car in a parking lot and something feels off then go with your gut feeling. Do not go to your car, instead return back to where you came from and get a security guard to help you or wait for a group of people and walk with them.
Carjackers oftentimes use scenarios to lure people out of their car. Examples of these scenarios include:
•The carjackers may use the “bump and run” routine. They bump their vehicle into your vehicle so that you will leave the car and assess the damage. Once you get out of the car, the one thief steals your car while the other thief drives away in the vehicle that bumped you.
•Thieves will place something on your windshield such as a $20 bill or flyer so that you will get out of the car and move it.
•Carjackers flash their lights at you or try and indicate that there is something wrong with your car so that you will pull over. Once you pull over, they hop out and steal your car.
What to do if you’re a victim?
If you are a victim of a carjacking, then give them the car. Get out of the car and get any passengers out as well. Lives are not worth a car.
Carjacking incurs a heavy penalty in the state of Florida. This crime is prosecuted as a first- degree felony and is assigned a level 7 offense severity ranking. What that means, is that if a person is convicted of this crime, the judge is required to sentence the person to a minimum prison sentence of 21 months. The judge can also add these penalties: up to 30 years in prison, up to 30 years of probation, up to $10,000 in fines. If a weapon is used in the carjacking, then the penalties go up. A person could face life in prison. Carjacking is an extremely serious crime.
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49th Street Bail Bonds has bailed clients out of jail for numerous charges including theft, grand theft, assault, battery, DUI, drug trafficking, and more. We can help you too! Please call us at 727-592-0000 to start the bail bond process. We have a bail bond agent available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days of the year to assist you. Don’t go it alone! Rely on the expertise of our bail bond agents. They can assist you with paperwork, answer questions about the court system and walk you through each step.
49th Street Bail Bonds serves all of Pinellas County including Clearwater, Largo, Seminole, St. Petersburg, St. Pete Beach, Madeira Beach, Indian Rocks Beach, Bay Pines, and the greater Tampa Bay area. Your neighbors have relied on us to help them, won’t you? Please call us at 727-592-0000 to start the bail bond process.