SAN ANTONIO – A carjacking takes a few moments, but as recent cases have shown, the outcomes can be devastating.
Though each situation is different, experts say there are a few things motorists can do to protect themselves.
Sgt. Russ Van Geffen, with the San Antonio Police Department, says always drive with your doors locked, and never completely roll down your windows.
"You can talk through a gap so you don't give them an opportunity to reach in," Van Geffen said. "But you need to identify what it is they're looking for. Some people truly need help and you can talk to them that way."
When coming to a stop, Van Geffen said, always leave some distance between you and the car in front of you. This way you have room to maneuver away if need be.
Additionally, if someone is able to somehow open your door, and demand your car, Van Geffen recommends giving them your vehicle.
"You don't want to fight this attacker," Van Geffen said. "If they're grabbing you, trying to jerk you out of the car, go with them to get yourself to safety. Give up your car. Your car is not worth your life."
That is, unless your child is with you. Van Geffen said to tell the attacker your child is with you, and do not leave unless you are able to get your child.
And finally, learn your license plate number.
"Remember, we have radios that go out to the whole city," Van Geffen said. "If you don't know your license plate, and we're digging through stuff because your car is not there, you're trying to find out what my license plate is, they're gaining distance, where we could be looking for them. There's a lot of people that don't know their license plate."