1. Carjackers do operate in pairs. 2. Could have been a dress rehearsal. 3. Glad you weren't the victim.
This is a discussion on Potential Car Jacking? within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; My wife and I had an interesting experience yesterday. We were stopped at a light at an intersection in an area of the city that ...
My wife and I had an interesting experience yesterday. We were stopped at a light at an intersection in an area of the city that we don't usually traverse. We were in the left lane at the front of the line just behind the stop line. An uninvolved car was to our left in the left turn lane and the right lane was initially empty. Two cars with multiple occupants came up the right lane. The front car pulled into our lane in front of us (despite the fact that they were now well ahead of the stop line) and stopped at an angle and the second stopped along side us. They were definitely traveling together and they basically had us blocked in. I was armed at the time and had they come out of their vehicles I would have unholstered immediately. As it turned out, they departed when the light turned green. The lead car made a somewhat similar maneuver at the next light but that intersection was empty. The two vehicles then ran that red light and raced southbound. This was at 1:45 in the afternoon on a sunny day. As it turned out there was a car jacking around 10:00 that night not all that far away from this location.
My initial thought as it happened was that they were goofing around but the more I think about it I wonder if (A) they were contemplating car jacking us and decided not to for whatever reason or (B) it was a dress rehearsal for a later car jacking. As it turned out it was a good learning experience for me and I think my wife has a new found appreciation for CCW, a definite plus since she REALLY didn't like it when I first bought a handgun.
Here's what I think I could have done better. Hopefully others can learn from my mistakes. 1) Instead of initially thinking they were just goofing around, I should have assumed the worst from the getgo. It was such a strange and aggressive maneuver and it was a pair of vehicles. 2) I was in condition orange but I think in the future I will verbalize it out loud, "Condition orange, if they exit their vehicles, I'm going to condition red and drawing. It they approach my vehicle, I will aim." I think there may be some benefit to speaking it out loud, even if I'm alone. (Thoughts on that?) 3) I should have watched the car to my side more than I did. I was focused on the vehicle ahead of me but the occupants in the vehicle to my right were physically closer. 4) I have no idea if there was an uninvolved vehicle behind me, which would have permitted a fast exit in reverse. 5) I should have done better about taking note of the vehicle types and plates.
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1. Carjackers do operate in pairs. 2. Could have been a dress rehearsal. 3. Glad you weren't the victim.
Last edited by gasmitty; May 4th, 2014 at 06:30 PM. Reason: reflect mod edit of OP
Sister says "There are Angels walking among us. If they're mean they're not Angels and you can shoot them"
Black Rifles Matter
5. Your best weapon in that scenario has a gas pedal. If you had to, you could've gone forward, back, etc. Two cars full of perps? I ain't shooting it out unless I am well and truly boxed in...
Velocity is temporary, mass is forever...
As soon as the car cut in front of me that's when I would have unholstered. To many to watch and draw and decide which was the biggest threat. Once you have drawn you have the jump on anyone who exited and you new were a threat. People wonder why I carry 3 guns and extra mags for each of them, your situation is why.
Even at home I carry,because I'm sitting down at home mostly I carry a Ruger SR9c in an ankle holster. When we leave the small town we live in this is my usual carry method. On my side is a full sized MP in 9 or 40, ankle is the Ruger in an ankle holster which is great for sitting very easy and fairly quick to get to. In my Pocket is my Shield 9mm. Summer changes things up a little because I am in shorts all summer no ankle holster. I need 2 fusion in my back and I am trying not to have surgery so I now carry a 5.11 PUSH bag. The Sheild is still in the pocket MP is still on my hip but the Ruger is in a dedicated pocket on the PUSH bag. It can be placed at the bottom of your seat secured and pocket with Ruger unzipped. Mags are in a dedicated pocket.
I carry like this for these reasons 1, Full sized on my hip has the most rounds of all of them 2, Shield in my strong side pocket so that I can have my hand on it all the time when standing 3, compack in ankle or PUSH bag for sitting down an can get my hands on it at anytime I am sitting. With all three pistols round count is 75. This is a life style that I have been doing for quiet a few years. If I am killed with my on gun it will be because they were all empty and they beat me to death with them. Glad you were not the one they tried to carjack, as the old saying goes we learn something new everyday.
With that many people, the odds are not in your favor for a gun fight. So you car is your best defense and means of escape. But there's nothing wrong getting your gun out and having it ready. You didn't say anything about the condition of windows and door locks. That would be the time to make sure the windows are rolled up and the doors are locked. It would also be a good idea to size up the car to your left.
From my experience, it seems you were being 'tested'. KC from either State, has many people who carry so the BGs are easily spooked.
It seems you were aware of your surroundings and prepared to act. I have been the victim of a car-jacking back in 1980s Detroit while off-duty in jeans & shirt.
I just grabbed my off-duty .357 Snub & aimed at the perp while at a stop sign (with a MV in front of me). Subject just turned, while running & hollering "Its a Gun!!". LOL
But, that was pre 1992 when Crack & Meth created a huge need for quick cash & desperate BGs.
Nowdays, I would assume 'suspicious activity' is for real, immediately. If they stayed in cars, no foul. If any approached your MV, unarmed, look everywhere for a weapon.
Such junior Thugs would USUALLY have a ball bat or similar for a weapon (it qualifies as a "deadly weapon") and your reasonable perception is the determining factor in your legal choice(s) of avoiding "Death or Great Bodily Injury".
With their car partially blocking your lane, you would have a great opportunity to 'accidentally' ram your way through and stopping across the street as you call 911 for the fender-bender, while Thugs think about LE being on the way + being at fault in 'your' lane.
They could have been some punky kids just enjoying 'scaring folks' for fun.
Sidearm is only when you have exhausted all reasonable options and truly believe your well being is in imminent danger. Not like your home.
Getting one of the tag numbers is a good thing, but certainly NOT a priority. #1) Stay alive. #2) Stay out of court.
You were smart to stay in MV and NOT allowing yourself to be provoked into doing something stupid. Make Good Eye-Contact w/o staring.
If things went south, LE would want to know who got out of their MV first... as the "instigator".
You did well. Maybe wife will re-think her personal safety when out alone... sometimes they want the Female instead of the MV...She would not like a long ride in the back of a van. It happens everyday.
Retired Deputy- State Trooper (38 long years) 8 yrs RTO - MS Degree- Criminology
Gun Control measures are Unconstitutional Infringements. Period.
"...He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one"- Luke 22:36
Being boxed in is a tough situation. The best weapons you have are the grey matter between your ears and the vehicle you're in. Running the light (if you can reasonably safely), running up on a curb to get around cars or backing out if possible are always things to consider. As a last result a push out/through cars. This past week I was sitting with the family at the busy McDonald's drive in. Cars front, back, and a heavy hedge row on the right. So here comes this sketchy looking guy from across the street, on a direct bearing at my car and down the right, passenger side. With no way out, I braced my foot hard on the brake and started to draw my weapon. He was give my family and I a pretty hard look and I would have ended up pushing my wife forward with my left hand into the dash to clear for a shot if I had to make one. He ends up walking by and gets into the passenger seat of the car in line behind us; very odd. I kept my eye on him the remaining minute or 2 in line then blasted out of the area.
A dashboard camera would also be an excellent idea. A dash-cam video of the apparent dress rehearsal would have been of great interest to the local police and sheriff's departments.
The moment these people boxed you in, your safety and well being were at risk.
The training I've had, in my earlier years still hold true today. Give youself plenty of room to manuver. I still stay about 3/4 car length from the vehicle in front of mr. This gives me ample room to get into drive, or reverse (if there's nobody behind me. I also have convexed mirrors on my vehicles so I can see who may be sneaking up on me from my blind ares (low to the ground that is) If I'm in city traffic, I try to stay out of the middle lane. Give myself the passing lane or the right side lane to break off at a off ramp or side street. Try to watch for vehicle that may "pace" you.
Personally, had a vehicle attempt to swerve into my lane near a stop light, I'd be unholstered too, and watching for the second vehicle, or somebody coming up onto my other blind side. This happens, all bets are off, doors locked, cell phone out with 911 on it ready to hit send. i use a bluetook device, so both hands are free. Gives me more atvantage to speak and order commands, along with LEOs able to overhear what's ongoing.
Why Waltz when you can Rock-N-Roll
Something I haven't seen mentioned by anyone yet. ALWAYS keep the doors locked. While it won't keep them out if they are determined to get in, it will slow their progress. As others have mentioned, your vehicle is a weapon as well. If you can't maneuver to get away, you can use it to ram their vehicle. If they step between your vehicle and theirs, pin them in place with it. Use your cell phone to call 911, and your horn can be used to draw attention to you.
Freedom doesn't come free. It is bought and paid for by the lives and blood of our men and women in uniform.
NRA Life Member
Yes, the reason I didn't mention it before is I do always keep the doors locked. The vehicle does it automatically around 10 MPH but I've developed the habit of hitting the button the moment the last person gets in.
Did you get a pic of their license plates? Right now, all you have is a story and essentially you were 'frozen in place'. You didn't act, you just sat there.
To me, these kinds of 'events' are opportunities to work on your active situational awareness. In fact, I think as soon as that happened, since you were alone, you should have made a left turn sneaking through oncoming traffic and gotten out of there. Yes, it's illegal, but if you got pulled you could explain it. I would suggest you keep a camera available in your console and practice snapping license plates. We always have a camera on board these days, though I agree a constantly running dash cam is a good idea.
The only thing I could have done differently before reaching the intersection would be to be in the right lane instead of the left lane so that I could have jumped the curb if necessary. I'll start doing that when traversing such neighborhoods in the future.
I agree that this was a great learning experience and I like the idea of either having a camera handy or a dash cam. I may look into that.