OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) – Oakland police have released data that shows a dramatic increase in carjackings.
Oakland saw an increase of 115% of the crime in the past year, with 200 occurring since last Sunday. In comparison, only 93 had occurred in the same time period as last year.
Police say many of these are crimes of opportunity, connected to other criminal acts like residential robberies and theft of personal belongings.
Another scam that is popular with thieves is to hit a car on purpose and take it while exchanging information.
Retired Richmond Police Sergeant Mitchell Peixoto offers this recommendation for drivers who want to be less of a target for carjackers.
“Number one advice is to leave room between you and the vehicle in front of you so that you can get away,” Peixoto said.
Here are some more tips to avoid being a victim of this crime include:
- Park in well-lit and well-traveled areas.
- Have your keys accessible before going to your car.
- When approaching or leaving your vehicle, be aware of your surroundings.
- When in your vehicle keep doors locked and windows closed.
- Park as close to your destination as possible.
- Never leave your car unoccupied with the motor running.
- If you’re involved in a vehicle accident, pull into a well-lit area like a gas station or a business if possible.
- Do not get out of the vehicle if you do not feel safe.
- Call 911
Of course, police and security experts both say to always pay attention to your surroundings to prevent becoming a victim of a crime.