PHOENIX - Once again, our Valley roadways became a getaway route for a carjacking suspect. On Wednesday afternoon, a homicide suspect led police on a brief pursuit through Glendale and then Phoenix. It ended with the suspect crashing the stolen car and then being shot by police.
Earlier this week, there was a carjacking in north Phoenix, and the suspect got away.
Later that day, a man crashed his motorcycle and took the car of a man who came to help him.
“It can happen fast,” said Phoenix Law Enforcement Association President Ken Crane.
Every year, about 40,000 carjackings take place across the country.
In most cases, the suspect is a man. According to recent statistics, the suspect has some sort of weapon 75 percent of the time.
12 News wanted to know what you can do to keep yourself safe if you become a victim.
“Tactical scenarios are like snowflakes, no two are alike,” said Crane.
The first tip Crane gave was to remain calm and quickly survey the scene to see what options you have.
“If your windows are up and your doors locked, you have a little time and some protection,” said Crane.
One option is to hit the gas and get out of the situation. If blocked in by other cars, Crane says you can wait until an opening allows you to take off.
If the suspect has a weapon and you feel threatened and want to give up the car to get away, you should exit the passenger side if possible to stay away from the suspect. If you are able and feel comfortable, you could grab the keys and take off running out of the passenger side door.
“The suspect may then give up and go find another car,” said Crane.
If you have kids in the car, Crane said it is not unusual for the victim to fight the suspect but obviously, that can be extremely dangerous.
Crane says the main thing is to do what you think is best to stay safe. Depending on the situation, it could be to get out of the car and run, hit the gas and take off or just wait and remain calm.
There is no right answer that will ensure your safety, and the mental or emotional state of the suspect will play a role. Crane says the more options you have, the better your chances of walking away safe.