OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Citing a 38 percent increase in carjackings this year, Oakland police issued a warning to drivers Saturday to take extra precautions to avoid becoming a victim during the holiday season.
Oakland police took to social media posting that “many of these incidents appear to be crimes of opportunity and in some cases, the victims are delivery and rideshare drivers.”
Investigators said it was not unusual for the carjacked vehicles to be used in other crimes like residential robberies and theft of personal belongings.
Often, they said, multiple suspects were involved in committing these crimes.
“One recent trend we’re seeing is when individuals intentionally crash their vehicles into a victim’s vehicle,” Oakland police posted. “When the victim attempts to exchange information, the suspects steal their belongings and vehicle.”
To reduce your risk, police said offered several safety tips:
- 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
- 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.