A True Carjacking Story
My mom nearly became the victim of a carjacking this week.
After parking her vehicle on a city street, a man rushed up to the rear passenger door. He opened it and got in.
Her immediate reaction was to yell, “No” and “Get out” as loud and as mean as she could muster. It did the trick. The stranger left the vehicle and ran off.
Fortunately, she walked away from the incident with a story, not an injury and a police report. What this man's intentions were will never be known. It's better that way.
After talking with her about what happened, it became clear how this is the perfect example of the preparedness mindset. “Prepared, Skilled, Aware” is more than just a catchy tagline at Living Ready. It's a way to be ready before, during and after an event.
Prepared for a Carjacking: She Had a Plan
Waiting until an event happens is the wrong time to develop a plan. There's barely time to think. My mom's incident didn't last more than a few seconds.
So don't think. Go into autopilot and execute the plan. In this case, my mom already knew what to do: Use her voice to bring as much attention to herself as possible.
Perhaps the menacing way she said “No” and “Get out” suggested she wasn't going to tolerate this person's presence. But my money is on this guy weighing the odds of getting away with a crime. The incident happened in a city with a lot of foot traffic. The odds were good someone would notice the confrontation.
This plan might seem overly simple. But consider how natural it is to freeze up. To allow terror to gel a person's better judgement.
That didn't happen because my mom was mentally prepared. She's safe now. However simple, the plan worked.
On the next page: SKILLED and AWARE
Skilled for a Carjacking: an Appropriate Response
It's one thing to have a plan. It's another to execute it properly. In this case, her plan was to draw attention to herself. The way she executed it was with her voice.
In the time since the incident, some suggested that a firearm would've helped. I disagree.
Yes, using one would've drawn attention to herself. But any concealed carry advocate knows that this level of escalation needs an equivalent threat in order to be legal.
In this case, it's not known whether the man had a weapon. His intentions weren't explicit. He didn't physically attack her.
To the layperson, that doesn't matter. A stranger entering a vehicle is enough justification. But to a prosecutor considering a homicide case, these details make all the difference.
There are times and places for using lethal force. This wasn't one of them.
Aware of Carjackings: Changing Settings on the Vehicle
The incident made my mom more aware of a security risk in her vehicle. After putting the vehicle into park, the doors automatically unlock. That's what happened just as the man entered the vehicle.
Perhaps this stranger knew about these settings, saw an opportunity and went for it. It's hard to say, but this could have been the case.
Changing the lock setting wasn't hard. For those who frequent cities, it's not the worst idea to do the same.
Conclusion: Never a Better Time to be Prepared, Skilled and Aware
It's worth mentioning again how fast that entire incident happened. A few seconds. No time to think.
That's why it's so important to have a plan, know how to use it and to be able to analyze it after the fact. Prepared, skilled, aware. Before, during, after.
Things could have turned out much differently for my mom. Thankfully, they didn't. I hope this story inspires you to follow her lead and be proactive about your preparedness.
Do you have a true carjacking story or other self-defense lessons? Post them in the comments below.
Recommended Book: Personal Defense for Women
This incident reminded me of the rich resource that is Personal Defense for Women: Practical Advice for Self-Protection by Gila Hayes. It's an excellent source of information for women interested in concealed carry, self-defense or how to be better aware of threats.
Click here to get Personal Defense for Women from the Living Ready Store for just $10.