Savannah carjacking prompts advice from crime expert

Retired police major Gerry Long offers advice to defend against carjackers

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — As police in the Hostess City look for a pair of reported carjackers a crime expert offers advice to drivers to reduce the risk of being targeted by this brazen brand of car thief.

The crime being investigated occurred in the parking lot of the Cook Out restaurant Tuesday night around 9:30 p.m. The victim said he was leaving when two armed males stopped him.

They got into the vehicle with the victim and instructed him to drive. On Veterans Parkway they instructed the victim to stop, get out of the vehicle and leave behind his shirt and shoes.

The men fled in the vehicle, which was later discovered crashed at Richmond Drive and Parkersburg Road. The two male occupants had already fled the area when police discovered the crashed car.

WSAV Crime Expert, retired SCMPD Major Gerry Long says drivers can take precautions to reduce their risk of falling victim to this crime, starting with a pair of defensive actions. “Keeping your doors locked and your windows rolled up,” Long said.

But the internet can give drivers the wrong idea, as it’s loaded with videos of carjacking victims fighting back against armed thieves.

A recent video out of Wisconsin shows a woman leaping onto the hood of her car to keep a carjacker from taking it.

“That video went viral. I mean it was all over YouTube, it was all over the news. So property is exactly that: It is property. Things can be replaced Your life and your health can not.” said Long

There are things you can do to help police once the carjackers drive off, but long says it takes exercising the powers of observation during the commission of the crime.

“When you are confronted by an individual, it is important to look at personal identifiers,” Long said. Those identifiers include things like tattoos and scars.

With tattoos, look for names and symbols that stick out. Long says anything you can recall about an encounter with a carjacker will help including things like smells, speaking accents, and even the way the thief walks or runs away.

But she urges people not to try to imitate what they see on the internet where carjacking victims are fighting with their attackers. Long says the reward is not worth the risk.

“There should be nothing, property-wise, that is worth your life.” said Long.

Anyone with information on the carjacking incident at Cook Out on Tuesday is asked to contact police.

A confidential tip line is also open directly to investigators at (912) 525-3124. Information can also be forwarded to CrimeStoppers at (912) 234-2020.

CrimeStoppers tipsters remain anonymous and may qualify for a cash reward. The suspects have not been captured at this time.

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