View Full Version : Wanted to know about dealing with carjackings...

May 26, 2008, 01:03 PM
Specifically, are carjackers less likely to target a car with dark tinted windows because it's harder to see the people inside the vehicle? Also, what's the best way to draw if you're in your vehicle?


May 26, 2008, 01:26 PM
Just take my approach and drive a heap, I don't think I could pay someone to steal it. Don't think the windows will make much of a difference, if they want the car they will try to take it. My jeep has a great place that I mounted a holster to the side of the console right next to my hip. It is concealed, I can get to it very quickly.

May 26, 2008, 02:06 PM
I agree with scoutleader. Just drive a car that looks like crap. My car looks like garbage, but is mechanically sound.(I'm a auto tech, so maintaining my car is easy for me) As long as it gets me from point A to point B, I'm good.

I had a nicer car until last August when I smacked into a guy at 50mph when he blew a stop sign. But, now, I don't care what it looks like. It just has to run good and be mechanically sound.(not fall apart)

My hooptie is a 1994 Dodge Spirit. 2.5L 4 cylinder. White with rust red accents. Thing runs great. 98K on the odometer. Bought it for $750 from a kid who got it from his grandfather when he passed. Kid drove it for a few months, then got another car, and sold this one. Found it on craigslist of all places. Put about $300 into it(tires, alignment, brakes, one driveshaft, fuel system cleaning, and a thermostat and coolant flush) and I've got a great running car. It's great to work at an auto shop. I get parts cheap, and labor is free in a good shop instead of my driveway.

As far as concealing a handgun in the car, there's a nice split in the front bench seat of the car that a handgun will fit very nicely into. Learned this little trick from my uncle who does the same thing in his truck. Just take it out of the holster when you get into the vehicle before putting your seatbelt on, then put it back in the holster before exiting the vehicle after taking the seatbelt off if you're someplace you can carry legally.

May 26, 2008, 02:14 PM
Put your gun inside your waistband at the front if you know you will be doing a lot of driving. Unbuckle early if a situation looks bad.

May 26, 2008, 02:18 PM
i don't know how much attention a 1987 ford wagon with woodlike trim on the sides,a homemade surf rod holder on the front,a coathanger radio antenna will draw. i'm pretty sure it screams I AM NOT WORTH STEALING. i do get funny looks at the gas pumps. it looks like something grandpa rejected years ago. bought from a retired couple in audubon for 1200.00. newly rebuilt transmision in it. only had 5 miles on it when i bought it. runs great, odometer is at 175000 miles. i carry a "be cool stick" with me :).

May 26, 2008, 03:24 PM
I've been semi-successfully carjacked once, about 13 years ago. My wife and I were out for the evening, 1993 Corvette with blacked-out (as much as legal) windows. I guess it was obvious there wouldn't be more than two in a two seater. I lived in a condo complex with auto sensor gates and figure the BG's must have followed us in, though I didn't see them. I pulled into my carport, turned to get out and looked into a 12 gauge (about tennis ball gauge:eek:) barrel. The guy told me to put the keys back in the ignition and get out. He had a dead drop on me, I don't think I could have beat him if I'd had gun-in-hand. I told him,"No problem, no trouble here, buddy, this is your car!" and got out. His pardner had by wife at gunpoint with a semi on the other side. They both jumped in the car, I ran across and grabbed my wife and dragged her through the hedges into another yard and peeked back.

The BG couldn't drive a manual! He and his cohort ran to their old rattrap where a third guy was waiting and crashed through the gate leaving, leaving their front bumper, with plate, behind. As far as I know the police never caught them...I never was contacted.

If I had a gun aimed and ready to shoot as I opened the door I might have had an even chance, but my wife would have bought it. If I'd had one concealed and fired as I stepped past the baddie, my wife would have bought it. If I was Steven Seagal and had taken out #2 with a head shot, then turned the gun on my guy, and won, the third guy (who I never saw until they ran back to their car) probably would have gotten me.

They had me and didn't pull the trigger. I didn't argue or resist and let him know this was a no hassle deal. I got lucky. I carry all the time now, but I think that night I was probably better off without.

There was also a completely unsuccessful attempt once, but that's another story.

May 26, 2008, 04:37 PM
My hooptie is a 1994 Dodge Spirit. 2.5L 4 cylinder
I rolled that car 5x, recieved not a scratch.

These days rollin' in the Pimpmobile, a 91 Cadillac Brougham, black looking brown with cream vinyl, 140K $700. Got it for same reason as you guys, nice things around here could be an invitation. Gonna have to get a used bike or even moped pretty soon, the city mileage with these prices is a killer. If the tires aren't dead at 35, and topped up on oil, can burn 2 gallons in under 20 miles, that's like $9. now. :mad:

Tinted windows will get you pulled over constantly, does around here. I know people that have paid multiple tickets for it.

The crossdraw holster has value in this case, I prefer a horizontal shoulder holster in all cases if carrying a handgun (haven't habitually, rarely), could see the seatbelt getting in the way of both if left on. Might be a good idea to attach the holster under or between the seats, console, etc. Ankle carry (outer RH ideal, walking around inner LH preferable) is a little more practical too if you'll already be seated. There are different designs specifically for driving holsters too.

With the tight quarters and obstructions, a snag proof gun is favorable, such as a striker auto or Centennial/Bodyguard wheelie. No magnums or similar high pressure ctg.s, still something with penetration, no porting. Tint could work against you, should you be corralled and at night not see another threat. Count on 2 or more guys and they won't both be at your door to usher you out. And probably have cased you beforehand-carjacking is a big deal, aside from a desperate commandeering, it could be you've already been seen getting into it. Security advances result in FTF takeover robberies, as in the case of home invasion nowdays vs. break-ins and safecracking.

May 26, 2008, 06:49 PM
I've got a 77 Ford F150 with 125K, a 92 GMC Safari with 140K, a 99 Mercury Mistique with 140K, and a John Deere 850 with 4000 hours.

None are worth my life or the carjacker's (or tractor jackers :D ), . . . and especially in Ohio where one cannot use deadly force over property. Once the dude has turned his back, he is leaving the scene, . . . no longer a threat, . . . and just maybe the cops will get my ride back, . . . no biggie if they don't, . . .

I really would hate to lose my truck, . . . I brought my 28 year old son home from the hospital when he was 3 days old in that truck, . . . but it still is not worth another person's life.

May God bless,

May 26, 2008, 08:53 PM
Driving a heap isn't enough. I would imagine that much of the time, they're not trying to get your car, they're trying to get any car. A lot of times, the BG just needs a set of wheels quick... anything that runs will do in a pinch.

May 26, 2008, 09:35 PM
I'm 6'2'' and 268 pounds and I drive a Porsche Turbo Carrera. If I get jacked it's going to take awhile to pry my fat a$$ out of the drivers seat. It would be just about ready to run out of gas by then............
Seriously, wear a cross draw on the left side and high. You can usually draw from a concealed location even with the shoulder strap buckled. With any coordination at all you should be able to put the hammer down on both the weapon and the car at about the same time.
Never thought much about tinted windows. Given the suspicion that some of these jackers have pinpoint eyes during their crime sprees I guess it couldn't hurt. Cops don't think much of tinted windows I do know that.

May 27, 2008, 01:09 PM
I do drive an older car for the time being, and I usually don't go through rough areas of town unless I really have to. Above all though, I'm always situationally aware especially when I have to walk and drive at night. Crossdraw does sound like a good way to carry on you, I also know the center console between the seats is a good place.


May 27, 2008, 01:25 PM
"I carry all the time now, but I think that night I was probably better off without."

It's ALWAYS "better off" to carry. It's also always "better off" to make good decisions. You did.

May 27, 2008, 01:33 PM
Carjacking 101:

Keep the doors locked when you are in the vehicle and the windows up. You pay a little more for gas, because of running the A/C, but it's cheaper than having to use your gun.

If danger approaches, look to flee. While we are on the subject of fleeing, when you are in traffic, give yourself room to manuver. At stoplights I stay back far enough from the car in front of me that I can see their back tires on the pavement.

If possible, stop in the right hand lane, there are usually more exits in that direction if you have to flee quickly than if you tried to flee to the left, against oncoming traffic, unless you are in Britain or a Commonwealth country. :)

Take care and stay safe.


May 27, 2008, 02:05 PM
Awesome pointer on the space you keep between vehicles, I'll be sure to keep that in mind for future reference. I've always liked driving aggressively defensive, and being tactical about what my options are as far as traffic is concerned. I wonder if there are tests online to show what kind of driving style a person has. Might as well Google it now.


May 27, 2008, 02:57 PM
Keep the doors locked when you are in the vehicle and the windows up. You pay a little more for gas, because of running the A/C, but it's cheaper than having to use your gun.Depending on the type of car, and how fast you drive (highway vs city), this may not always be the case (http://www.sae.org/events/aars/presentations/2004-hill.pdf).

May 27, 2008, 03:05 PM
I drive a nice car. I am not really concerned with a car jacking though. The odds are less for that to happen to me, than the odds are for me winning the lottery.

I keep something at hand though, and I am not afraid to just stomp the gas pedal. :)

May 27, 2008, 03:44 PM
When driving, i always leave enough room for me to get pass the vehicle in front of me in case i need to. When driving through a shaky area or if i see some shaky people, i unholster my gun and put in under my left thigh. Its easy and quick to grab even belted in and stays hidden under my pants/shorts. I also try to avoid such shady areas if possible to avoid any potential problems.

May 27, 2008, 09:27 PM
My heap is a 90 Jeep Cherokee 270k on the clock. It has a new motor, tranny, cooling system, and I rebuilt the front and rear ends as well. It is also lifted 3 inches and running 30 inch tires. I know what you are thinking, no gas mileage. Well it get 24 on the highway and 18 in town. Also if I feel the need I can climb over it smash it out of my way if needed. I have to go through so pretty rough areas of the city I live in every day. We had around 200 murders last year and we are pretty high in the count this year. All you can do is watch your back and say a prayer for safe keeping. I don't look for trouble and since I got my CCW I have even become more non combative ( something to do with a wife and daughter at home ). If someone wants my heap then hell I will let them have it, it is covered.

May 29, 2008, 01:45 AM
Some friends and I took a wrong turn in Baltimore a few months ago. Ended up in what was definitely the wrong part of town. This was at about 9 pm and it was dark. The two guys in the back would turn around and watch behind everytime we stopped. Doors locked and windows up with driver ready to run the light on go.

Rich Miranda
May 29, 2008, 02:26 AM
One of the holster-makers (can't recall which) makes a nice holster that you wear right at the front of the belly. Assuming you're right handed, this puts the gun pointed at the BG from the get go (unless he came from the right side!).

Easy to draw and aim quickly.

As for bad neighborhoods, even the cops run the red lights there.

Bob Lee Swagger
June 16, 2008, 11:32 AM
Have none of you guys seen Reservoir Dogs? :cool:

Odd Job
June 16, 2008, 05:12 PM
Johannesburg is the carjacking capital of the world. I worked in Johannesburg and often drove a car at night, doing shifts. I was always armed.

The carjackings became so frequent that many hospital staff members were taking specialized 'anti-hijacking' courses (that's what they call it in SA, hijacking). The perpetrators are called hijackers, but I call them goblins.

I completed one of those courses in 2002. They had a vehicle on the range, and we fired from inside the car and from outside. This was done with a driver only and also with a passenger.

Here is what I found:

1) As another poster said, it is better not to stop somewhere where you can be surprised, boxed in or made to drive the vehicle where it is in a vulnerable position. This means you need good following distances, you are better off in an outside lane, and it is good practice to 'time' the traffic lights so that you catch them green.

2) A goblin can approach the car in the driver's blindspot. By the time the driver sees the goblin, it is too late and the goblin has the drop on the driver. The cure for this is to get one of those small blindspot mirrors and place that on the lower inside corner of the side mirror. Check all of your mirrors frequently!

3) Whether you are wearing a seat belt or not, it is very difficult to draw quickly from an IWB holster (that's the only one I personally tried). Another trainee found it difficult to draw from an OWB holster. Any draw that has a rearward elbow movement can be impeded by the car seat.

4) If you're going to draw, you either have to do it very early in the encounter (before he gets the drop on you) or very late (as you are getting out the car or unclipping the seat belt). If you think you can out draw the goblin who is already at the driver's side window and has the drop on you, think again. If he is at the window already, and he has his gun drawn, you are in big trouble. You will be better off gunning the engine than trying to draw and pop the goblin.

5) If the goblin is experienced (and you have to assume that he is), then if you make any move whilst in the vehicle that doesn't fit in with a dude trying to take off his seat belt and get out of the car, you are going to get shot. In South Africa that means any kind of reach on the right hip, since the driver sits on the right and his seat belt release is on the left hip side. You have no business reaching low right, low centre or high left. The only logical place therefore (according to my experiments) to have the gun is low left.

6) I found that the best method of securing the gun was under my left thigh. yep, almost sitting on it. Only the grip is exposed on the left. If the goblin looks sharp and he has the drop on you, you might actually decide to ditch the gun between the seat and the centre console as you undo the seat belt and move to get out. You've still got the option to draw it after you release the seat belt, but I guess it would depend on whether you thought you could win or not.

7) In South Africa, I am resigned to left hand draw and fire and I practised that on the range, from within a vehicle. It wasn't my vehicle. The only practice I had in my vehicle was drawing and pointing. On one occasion I drew for real but didn't let the pedestrian see the pistol.

8) I found that the first time I fired from inside the car, with a passenger who was also firing (left hand seat, right side ejection port) I was distracted by brass landing on the roof and rolling down the windscreen.

9) If the goblin hasn't drawn level with the driver's side window yet, you can move pretty quickly and get out and shoot if you can't move the car. This is the sort of scenario where you have come home, the car is parked in the driveway and then the goblin makes his move.

10) in SA many hijackings happen when pulling out of the driveway or stopping at the gate when coming home. Many homeowners cut down hedges and bushes near the gate, or made sure they had an electric opener and didn't have to stop at all. There is a lot to be said for having good visibility of your yard, and of course good lighting in your driveway and outside your house on the street. Remember, goblins are like roaches and prefer to do their dirty deeds in the dark.

11) If you are really extreme, you can get a Blaster-type system, but I think in many places you will get into trouble for cooking someone like that, even if he is a goblin with a gun at your window.

If you take a car on the range and go through some scenarios, then take my advice:

a) Expect massive bruising on the underside of your right thigh (if it is a right hand drive vehicle) if you do a lot scenarios where you have to get out of the car in a hurry. When we were finished that course, we all had massive bruises and the pain was pretty good the next day.

b) Do not be tempted to rest your bare forearms between the windshield frame and the door frame when the vehicle is stopped and the door is open, and you are firing a Ruger Super Redhawk. That rubber on the windshield and door seal may look soft and feel soft at first, but it can cause serious scratches ;)

June 16, 2008, 05:53 PM
I had a really cool custom mustang in Hawaii. What I learned was if the locals weren't trying to steal it, the cops were writing bu...... tickets for speeding. It came down to either a very good alarm, which I had, and was the only reason I had the car, or I needed someone to ride shotgun, and watch the car while I did anything I wanted to do.

In other words, I agree with the above, that a nice car is a target, and, if you can't afford someone to ride shotgun, you can't afford the car.

Have a beater, and, for nice drives, and nice places, a nice car...

July 2, 2008, 09:18 AM
Odd Job,

Thanks for some good tips, boet. I live in Dar es Salaam, which is probably one of the safest and most peaceful major cities of sub-Saharan Africa, but we do have some goblins here as well (although not nearly as many as Jo-burg or many other places). I met a guy some years back who worked fitting shelves for pick and pay/checkers etc in Jo-burg, who claimed to have been hijacked seven or eight times and had been shot twice. I asked him why he didnt leave, to which he replied that that was the reason he came up here.

I do like most of you: Drive an old clunker, keep my eyes open, stay out of trouble spots and try to maintain a safe distance. Traffic being somewhat aggressive here, its not always easy to keep far enough behind the car in front of you without some motorhead squeezing in right in front of you, but I try not to get upset and figure its better getting home a few minutes late than not at all. Likewise, I avoid the overtaking lane as much as I can. Too many cars driving in the opposite direction there.

One thing I dont have is air conditioning, which means I drive with the windows down (African AC: two speeds - one window down or both). A lot of people have pointed out how foolish this is, and I suppose they are right in a way. On the other hand, the open windows allow you to hear, smell and "feel" whats going on around you in a way you dont get sitting in an air conditioned cocoon with the radio on. Beggars, even aggressive ones, can be spoken to and reasoned with. You can easily start talking to someone else on the street and explain the problem you are having with the guy who wont get out of your way/wont stop washing your windscreen/tried to reach into your car. And if something really nasty happened, like a shooting/hijack, I dont think a window being up or down would make much difference.

As for carry (if and when I do carry), I sometimes take it out of the 3:30 o'clock IWB and put it on my left, where the seatbelt unfastens if I think trouble is brewing, but I would hate to try shooting right handed, towards the right, sitting in the right hand drive vehicle. Very awkward indeed, I should think.

My night watchmen know the sound of my car and I live on a street where there are precious few cars, so they normally have the gate open when I get there.


July 2, 2008, 12:33 PM
A buddy of mine mounted a switch to his electric fuel pump just under the dash (within arms reach). His reasoning was if he was carjacked he could flip the switch as he got out of the car and the carjackers would make it a block or so before the car stalled.


July 2, 2008, 12:38 PM
Andrews Leather makes a crossdraw holster that actually wraps around the lap belt of a standard seat belt. I think it's called a "carjacker" model.


July 3, 2008, 11:24 PM
"Johannesburg is the carjacking capital of the world. I worked in Johannesburg and often drove a car at night, doing shifts. I was always armed."

The most frightened I ever have been in a car was when I was working in South Africa for 5 months and driving around lost in Johannesburg at 5 am. It was dark, and I was the only white face around. I wasn't about to stop and ask directions. Fortunately, I had a compass on my watch and knew from a map that I had to drive south. Either I would find my way back to the highway and to the airport or I would be found as a skeleton at some dead-end street. I found a convenience store and they directed me to the highway.

The rules I learned:
Keep windows up and doors locked.
Leave enough room between you and the car in front so that you can dart out even if you have to run the traffic light (robot in SA).
Leave nothing of value or that may look valuable on the seat.

The worst part for me was that just when I needed a firearm the most, I could carry one.

I will shortly be off again to SA for a few months, but this time in a rural area in Northwest Province. And again, I won't be able to be armed.