Contrary to popular belief, hijacking is not a crime contained to the worst ghettos or economically disadvantaged urban areas. Hijacking is a crime that is relative to a certain demand for a car and the difficulty in attaining one. In areas where an automobile may be financially out of reach but nevertheless a necessity or status symbol, the rate of hijackings is higher. Hijackers see cars as a quick steal and cars can bring in several thousand dollars in a matter of minutes or second, making this crime a lucrative business. Many steal cars and quickly sell them, making the tracking of vehicles after impossible and still others immediately dismantle the cars for their individual parts, tearing apart any hope that the victim of the incident will ever see their car again. Hijackers are ruthless criminals, provoked not by the hurt or pain they cause in others but by sheer greed for money and the thrill of stealing a car from a total stranger. Car hijacking is not a crime of passion–they are crimes that are well-thought out and easy to get away with since getting rid of a vehicle, as large as it may be, is relatively simple with the need for them always ahead of the supply.
These days, hijackers are armed with dangerous and fatal weapon in 90% of the incidents. Typically there is not a need to use the weapons since the mere appearance of them is enough for the average person to give up their vehicle. But the weapons are not used merely for threat–car hijackers are not afraid to use their weapons and 1% of car hijackings end in a fatality. To the criminal car hijacker, nothing is worth more than possession of the vehicle, and these crimes are carried out with no regard for a human’s life.
The rise in car hijacking is complex–stemming from a variety of social issues coupled with difficult economic times. Cars are becoming more expensive even though they are less dispensable in one’s life. People depend on the mobility they gain from their automobiles and many people who own a car would not be able to disclose what public transportation methods could bring them to the same places. In addition to this is the fact that economic times have made the price of gas expensive, increasing the overall cost of living. The quick cash obtained from the hijacking of one vehicle can make it a lucrative business for those willing to stoop to such measures. Car hijacking is a “desperate crime for desperate people” who get financially stuck and do not think there is another way to solve their financial dilemmas. They are “crimes of opportunity” committed by drug addicts who need to satiate their fix or other desperate people. Car thefts of this nature are ideal crimes because they provide the criminal with a getaway and the reward together.
There are many ways to lessen the likelihood of a car hijacking. These include measures that every person can take such as locking doors while driving, maintaining a space in front of one’s car to avoid being boxed in, and staying alert to loiterers at traffic lights or motorists who seem to be tailing too closely. If you believe you are being followed, knowing to drive to the nearest police station and not to one’s own home can be the difference in preventing a car hijacking or falling victim to one. Staying clear of dark roads or avoiding long stretches of isolation when traveling at night can reduce one’s chances as well as remembering to never stop on the side of the road at night, and only stopping at well lit and secure rest stops. Refrain from picking up hitchhikers who are often hijackers in disguise and never leave the engine running or the keys in the ignition when leaving your vehicle–car hijackers are quick to take advantage of situations and even in broad daylight at a public gas station, will strike if there is an opportunity to. Avoiding high crime areas and unfamiliar urban neighborhoods will also reduce the chances of a hijacking and in circumstances that such areas need to be traversed, going with another person in the vehicle can put off potential hijackers. Although there are measures to make the incident of a car hijacking less likely and increase the feeling of safety one experiences in their automobile, the fact remains that car hijackers are ruthless and will resort to guns and violence to meet their needs. The best that can be hoped for is that justice is met in the end.
Automobile hijacking is a serious incident that has both financial and emotional repercussions. Automobiles often represent a good portion of one’s value and are a crucial part of one’s life, especially in this modern age where the need for transportation and movement is an inherent part of everyday life. It can be an unexpected financial burden that can be difficult if not impossible to overcome and in addition, it can add emotional stress and in serious cases physical harm. Costs related to health and medical expenses incurred during a violent hijacking combined with the loss of a vehicle and the time-consuming process involved with reporting the incident to proper law enforcement parties can hinder one’s ability to maintain their daily routine. In the situation that I was hijacked while driving my vehicle, my response would be relative to the degree of physical and emotional harm caused by the incident, more so than the loss of my automobile. In the event that I was harmed seriously enough to require medical attention, I would be more concerned with the medical costs. Moreover, the time required to report the incident would hamper my work schedule without certain results anyway, making it an almost hopeless endeavor. For the victim of an automobile hijacking, life becomes exponentially difficult and the emotional trauma caused and the feelings of insecurity that follow can cause lifelong emotional setbacks.
In the wake of the incident, I would most likely try to become more involved in a cause that raised awareness for vehicle hijacking and take precautions in the future to ensure that my safety while driving in my own vehicle was as high as possible. Most likely I would do what I could to make sure that this was something that my close friends or family would not have to deal with. Seeking insurance coverage for such incidents might be something I would pursue as well as researching how the legal system could be made more efficient for the victims of car hijackings and that the victims rights could be protected during such times.Car hijackings should not be something anybody needs to go through–it is a heinous crime by thoughtless criminals that laws have not yet evolved enough to prevent or punish.
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