Police offer safety tips after increase in carjackings

Published: Dec. 22, 2016 at 5:23 PM EST
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SHAKER HEIGHTS, OH (WOIO) - The Shaker Heights police are offering safety tips for residents after an increase in carjackings across Northeast Ohio.

RELATED: Staged accidents, carjackings on the rise in Northeast Ohio

Police say they have been seeing an increase in bump and run car thefts recently. A bump is different than a crash; while a crash is unexpected by both parties, a bump is an intentional diversion that will likely not cause damage to either vehicle.

RELATED: Shaker Heights police search for suspect who carjacked elderly woman

In both cases, police say that citizens should follow these guidelines:

  • Always know your location when driving.
  • Don't be in a rush to get out of the car when something happens.
  • Check your rearview mirror to see who's behind you. If a passenger gets out of the car instead of the driver or multiple people get out of the car, this may be a warning sign.
  • If something seems irregular, stay in your car, lock the doors and call 911.
  • If you don't feel safe, leave the scene and call 911 from another location.
  • If something suspicious happens, drive to a populated area and, if possible, advise police of the vehicle description and license plate. You can also signal the other driver to follow you, and do not pull over unless there are other people in the area as witnesses. or drive to the nearest police station, fire station, patrol car or well-lit gas station or shopping area.
  • If you get out of the car to exchange information, assess damage, take your wallet, purse or cell phone and stay alert. Consider taking your keys with you when exiting the car.
  • If weapons are present in a confrontation, run from the car and contact police. Never allow a potential auto theft to elevate to a hostage situation. Personal safety is more valuable than the car or personal property.

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