NEW YORK (NewsNation) — Carjackings are on the rise across the country, and police are warning the public to remain vigilant as violent attacks surge at gas stations.
In Philadelphia, more than 1,200 carjackings happened this year, nearly double last year’s number.
Many of the carjackings occur at gas stations where drivers are vulnerable standing outside their vehicles. While others have been taken by surprise at gunpoint right in their driveways.
Meanwhile, Chicago is on track for 1,960 carjackings in 2022, according to data compiled by Wirepoints, surpassing the 1,848 record set just last year.
The Cook County Sheriff’s Office is asking drivers for permission to track their vehicles if they’re stolen through their Tracked Vehicle Partnership. Participating drivers would receive stickers to place on their windshields letting people know the vehicle is being tracked.
“In the event it’s stolen we could immediately start the tracking,” said Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart. “We have talked to people who we have taken into custody and trust me they’ve been clear that they don’t want to deal with cars that they knew we’re tracking.”
Due to the uptick in violence, many gas stations are no longer staying open for 24 hours. And in some cities, gas stations are now being required to have working security cameras.
Here are tips to stay safe while getting gas from police departments around the country:
- Choose gas stations that are well-lit.
- Try to find a pump near the attendant or building.
- Don’t leave your keys in the ignition. Take them out of the vehicle and lock your car while you’re pumping gas.
- Pay attention to your surroundings.
- Keep valuables out of plain view in your vehicle and lock the doors, even if you’re going inside for just a moment.