Chicago seems to be in the midst of a severe epidemic that has drastically changed people’s lives, the least of which is not just the COVID-19 Virus. The city’s ongoing violence has so far produced over 705 murder victims and over 3,716 shooting victims. However, another epidemic has taken hold and its numbers have escalated to “eye-popping” numbers. So far this year over 1050 ARMED CARJACKINGS HAVE BEEN RECORDED. A 76% increase over last year and the most in Chicago’s recorded history. Imagine what the numbers are for Cook County, but good luck getting them to produce them, especially during an election cycle. Hell! somebody might have to be held accountable. Another alarming aspect is that only 4.6% of the offenders have even been arrested. The theme by the politicians and the police department seems to be that silence is the only answer, because they have no answer. Below is the chart that should be cause for alarm.
For those of you who are interested, I am passing along some experience and advice that may come in handy in case you ever are confronted by an ARMED CARJACKER.
SITUATIONAL AWARENESS—— This is not one of our strong suits here in America. We are often distracted by our children, conversations, traffic, tablets, and the ubiquitous cell phones. Live your life but keep your head on a swivel, and become less of a victim to those who ARE paying attention.
In Tactical Terms, this would be referred to as the Cooper Awareness Color Code.
WHITE- essentially you are oblivious to your surroundings. You are walking to or sitting in your car texting or talking on the phone, not noticing who is walking near you or your vehicle.
YELLOW-You, are more in touch with your surroundings—keeping your head on a swivel. You are aware of who is walking in your area and their apparent demeanor.
ORANGE- You suspect something might not be “right” your pulse may be increasing or the hairs on the back of your neck are standing up as you notice someone checking for unlocked vehicle doors or someone is following you from the mall or shopping area, or maybe that vehicle that has been following you for the last few blocks.
RED- The threat just became reality and it’s time to make a decision. That person that has followed you from the mall or shopping area has targeted you and your vehicle. Do you RESIST or surrender your vehicle? Do you have a child or significant other with you, and how will you protect them? How are you going to defend yourself? Is anyone around to help you? START DIALING 911.
BLACK-Go time- you are not becoming a victim today. The following are some measures that can and will make you less vulnerable to becoming a victim. There are lots of them so take your time and let them sink in.
1-PARKING OR APPROACHING YOUR VEHICLE IN A PARKING LOT
- avoid parking near a potential carjackers hiding places such as dumpsters or bushes.
- park in well-lit places. Plan for this when parking in daylight hours.
- try to park as close to the entrance of your destination as possible.
- conceal valuable items in your vehicle, don’t leave cell phones, backpacks, electronics, or purses on the seats.
- be sure to lock all doors and close all windows.
- Before returning to your vehicle be sure to survey the parking lot for potential attackers.
- look IN and around your vehicle before entering it,
- if you do not feel comfortable have security or someone walk you to your vehicle. All major stores are aware of this assistance.
- walk to your vehicle in a YELLOW STATE OF AWARENESS. If you are going to use your cell phone DO NOT TEXT- instead be on the phone talking with someone, if you are attacked you will not have time to send a text, but you will be able to yell your location and situation into the phone.
- walk confidently to your vehicle. If you have pepper spray or a stun gun know where it is and have it ready in case you need it. Otherwise, put your keys between your fingers and clench your fist, this makes for a very effective improvised weapon. Other available items to be used as weapons are pens and even cell phones.
2– WHILE DRIVING YOUR VEHICLE
*Once again be in a YELLOW STATE OF ALERT
*Keep windows and doors closed and locked
- When you enter the vehicle don’t dawdle. Start it and drive away immediately
- when stopped be sure to leave enough space between vehicles to maneuver.
- put your seat belt on immediately after you start your vehicle. IF YOU PUT IT ON WHILE PARKED IT MAY COST YOU VALUABLE SECONDS IF YOU HAVE TO BAIL OUT FAST.
- REGULARLY SCAN YOUR REARVIEW MIRROR AND SIDE MIRRORS FOR ANYONE APPROACHING YOUR VEHICLE
- do not stop for hitchhikers or a motorist who appears to have a disabled vehicle, it’s hard not to be a good Samaritan but times have changed. To assuage any guilt notify the police or a roadside service as you drive by.
- be cautious about what is referred to as the “bump and run.” Carjackers use this strategy. They bump their vehicle into another one, and when the driver gets out to assess any damage a passenger in the offending vehicle will get out and attempt to steal the bumped vehicle.
- One of the most vulnerable times for drivers is when getting gas for their vehicles. Most are concentrated on charge cards, gas pumps, etc, and this leaves the driver vulnerable on several fronts. Be sure to turn the vehicle off and lock the car with the keys or fob placed back in your pocket. Purses and valuables on seats of vehicles pumping gas are a major target for thieves.
- I hope some of these tips help and REMEMBER COMMON SENSE AND SITUATIONAL AWARENESS WILL GO A LONG WAY IN KEEPING YOU AND LOVED ONES FROM BECOMING VICTIMS.
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