Carjackings on the rise, 10 ways to keep yourself safe

PHOENIX - Three recent crimes in in the Valley all included a carjacking. 

On Tuesday, a bank robbery in Gilbert led to a carjacking in Mesa. The suspect was shot and killed at the end of a pursuit. Also Tuesday, a pickup truck stolen from someone at the center of a chase near 99th Avenue and Interstate 10 crashed into a pole.

On Monday night a man is accused of carjacking and stealing a second car as he hopped from house to house, trying to get away from police.

It's a scary thought, that someone could try to hurt you and steal your vehicle. Your best protection is to be prepared.

First, always park in a well lit area. Before you get in your vehicle, look in your back seat and use a flashlight to make sure there isn't someone hiding underneath your car. Make sure you always have at least a half tank of gas so you don't wind up stranded.

It's harder to protect yourself when you're driving, so make sure you lock your car doors and keep those windows rolled up, especially at red lights and stop signs.

Don't leave anything valuable on the seat that someone might spot from outside. Put your purse on the floor or, even better, stick it in the trunk.

If you are carjacked and you're not in the vehicle, throw your keys as far as you can past the bad guy, then take off running.

If someone confronts you and they have a weapon, give up your keys and leave. Your safety is worth more than your stuff.

If you have a child in the car with you, let the carjackers know by repeating, "My child is in the car."  At the same time, get the child out.

Try to get a description of the person and call police as soon as you can.

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