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Many Chicago Residents have been affected by increased carjacking incidents around the city this past year. Although carjacking have been reported in different neighborhoods, last month, two similar incidents occurred just minutes apart in Roscoe Village. The first incident took place just after 8:00 p.m. in the 3200 block of North Hoyne Ave. A man wearing a mask approached a woman who was sitting in her vehicle, the man threatens her with a gun and demanded the car. The second incident, took place in the 3200 block of North Bell Avenue. A man was also sitting in his car when two men approached it, opened the doors and demanded the keys at gunpoint. 

Since we live in such a diverse city, it is often difficult to perceive a situation as a threat. Nonetheless, it is important to be alert to be able to analyze a prospect dangerous situation.

1. Being Alert.

Although a person cannot control the environment, it is possible to control actions. We are often engaged with technology gadgets while walking, which can be distracting and diminish our ability to avoid danger. By being alert of our surroundings, there is a higher possibility to detect dangerous situations.

 2. Parking. 

During the winter, the city has less hours of light. Try to find a parking spot close to your place of employment. If parking is limited in the morning, try to find a closer parking spot during a break. If possible, walk back to your car accompanied by a colleague.

3. Lock your doors.

Once inside the car, instead of checking your phone and before turning on the lights, lock the car’s doors. Having the doors open while sitting in a car places a person at higher risk by giving access while still remaining inside.

4. Download an App.

There are several Apps that can serve as a “virtual buddy”. These apps allowed the user to share its location with one or more users in real-time. A simple tip is to calculate the time it takes to walk from point A to the car, set up the timer, and share your location. Some users opt to continue sharing until they drive away.

5. A Community with Security Cameras.

Aside from the large network of city security cameras, many neighborhoods are implementing cameras in residential homes. In one of the cases described above, footage of one of the carjacking was recovered from a nearby home and shared with local police. 

6. Car Insurance.

It is important to understand the details about car insurance and which incidents are covered depending on the policy. The value of the car and the cost of insurance can be balanced to chose the best possible. If the vehicle is an everyday asset, it is better to buy full coverage. But even then, discuss with the agent the details in case the vehicle is stolen.  
Only a low percentage of vehicles stolen are recovered and this can cause a lot of frustration for the victims. Victims of carjacking should always make a police report because many of these cars are used to commit crimes. Working as an individual and a community with police can improve safety in our neighborhoods. 
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