As carjackers take on new tactics to try and steal your vehicle, security experts say the one thing that could help you stay safe and possibly help law enforcement is using your smart phone, in a smart way.
As Chicago Police work to curb the city’s carjacking problem, carjackers are finding other ways to try and steal your car.
One of the latest ways they are doing that is by faking an accident to catch you off guard.
“We need to start trying to think active,” said security expert Moody Andrews.
This scenario happened overnight Saturday in the city’s Fulton River District.
Police said a 38-year-old woman was driving her SUV when it was hit by a driver of a red sedan.
Doing what most law enforcement advises, she pulled over a in public area, a grocery store parking lot, to exchange information.
Instead, four males got out of the car, threw her to the ground and took off with her purse and vehicle.
Andrews has spent three decades in law enforcement and security. He showed us how your smart phone could be your most valuable tool to keep you safe and help law enforcement.
Andrews said first step is to pay attention.
“Pay attention when you look through your rearview mirror. If there’s one person in that car, fine, probably not a carjacker because who’s gonna drive your car away? If there’s two or more people in that vehicle, now it’s time for you to start taking evasive action,” he said.
That “evasive actions” involves using your smart phone. Andrews suggests immediately start recording yourself, including the description of the vehicle that hit you.
“Take your camera, take your phone out, record what is going on,” he said. “If you have a friend, call a friend.”
Get out of the car:
Next, he recommends getting out of the car. Do not stay and wait to be approached.
“Get out the car, lead the phone out first as you get out the door,” Andrews said.
Record what’s happening:
He also said you should try to record what’s happening behind you. Then, if you have the app “Find My Phone,” he suggests throwing the phone on the floor of the car.
Using your phone in these two ways, Andrews said, accomplishes two things: documenting the incident, possibly capturing video of the offenders and leaving a tracking device in the vehicle.
“We all want a safe environment, but this isn’t it right now,” he said, “and so now you have to learn to adapt.”
Andrews said this is but one way to stay defensive but cautions that there are no one-size-fits-all situations or solutions. However, simply knowing what tools to best use will always ensure you are prepared, no matter what happens.
“You have to be ready,” Andrews said. “If you keep thinking something could happen, then you’re not completely caught off guard.”
Andrews also stressed that there is no situation where you need to fight for anything but your life.
This article originally appeared on ABC7 Chicago.