Prince George's County State's Attorney Glenn F. Ivey offers these tips from the Maryland Theft Vehicle Prevention Council to help residents stay safe from carjackers.
1. Be watchful when slowing, stopping, and getting in and out of your vehicle.
2. Be watchful in parking lots, at stop signs and stoplights and on the side of the road.
3. Be watchful in parking garages and as you pull in to your garage at home.
4. Keep doors locked.
5. Leave an escape route when you stop at intersections so that you can go around a car that suddenly stops in front of your vehicle.
6. Check mirrors often.
7. Be alert for anyone who seems to be watching your car, especially in a parking lot.
8. If you are approached while in your car, don't roll down the windows or open the door.
9. If you suspect you are being followed, don't go home. Go to a police station or other safe place and call police from your cell phone if you have one.
10. Keep your vehicle in good operating condition to avoid breakdowns.
11. Register your vehicle with the Maryland Watch Your Car Program, which provides motorists with a sticker to affix to their back window giving police permission to stop the car between 1 and 5 a.m.
12. If threatened, use your horn or alarm system to signal for help.
13. Avoid parking near dumpsters, large vans or trucks that provide a hiding place for carjackers.
14. If you encounter a carjacker, surrender the car without a fight.
15. Have your vehicle identification number etched in your vehicle windows.