DC Police releases safety tips amid massive rise in carjacking incidents

Over the past several years, D.C. has seen a rise in carjacking incidents around the city. This year has been especially bad, with more than 900 already, a 77% increase from last year at this time.

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On Friday, the Metropolitan Police Department released several tips that it wants community members to remember in hopes of preventing future incidents.

  • Always remove your keys and lock the car doors.
  • Lock your doors immediately upon entering, even before you put the keys in the ignition. Keep the doors locked at all times while in your vehicle.
  • Secure your vehicle, even if parking for “just a minute.” Remove your keys, lock all your doors, and close your windows.

NEVER leave your engine running and vehicle unattended while you run into your home, a convenience store, while pumping gas or anywhere else.

  • If you come across a disabled vehicle on a road or see someone trying to flag you down, the safest way you can help is by calling 911.
  • Park in well-lit areas, when possible, near sidewalks or walkways. Avoid parking near dumpsters, large vans or trucks, or anything else that limits your visibility.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings when idle at traffic lights and other locations observing people and vehicles around you.

If someone tries to carjack you

  • Don’t resist or argue, especially if there is a weapon involved.
  • Try to remember what the robber or carjacker looks like – sex, race, age, hair and eye color, special features and clothes when you call 911 to report the crime to the police.
  • Sometimes carjackers have a “follow vehicle,” driven by an accomplice. As the carjacker drives off with your vehicle, try to notice if there is another vehicle following closely behind. If so, try to remember as much as you can about that vehicle.
  • Get away from the area as quickly as possible.
  • Report the crime to the police. Your actions can prevent others from becoming victims.

MPD said above all, give up your property and don’t put yourself at any further risk. “Vehicles can be replaced but you can’t,” MPD said.

Anyone who has information about a carjacking or other crime that occurs in the District of Columbia should take no action but call police at (202) 727-9099 or text your tip to the Department’s TEXT TIP LINE at 50411. The Metropolitan Police Department currently offers a reward of up to $10,000 to anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for a violent crime committed in the District of Columbia.