Carjacking is the crime of motor vehicle theft from a person who is present normally the robber is armed. Carjacking is a felony and a carjacker is risking a far more severe penalty if caught than a regular car thief. Kenya Penal code section 278A: If the thing stolen is a motor vehicle within the meaning of the Traffic Act, the offender is liable to imprisonment for seven years.
How to minimize chances of being carjacked – While Parking:
- Chose parking lots with security;
- Where possible park in a well lit area near the entrance or other populated spot.
- Remember to lock your doors and arm the anti theft device if the car has one.
- Always approach your car with the key in hand;
- Finally avoid sitting in your car preoccupied in thought where possible as you will not see the attacker sneaking in to point a weapon at you when already inside or standing at your open window.
In a PSV
- Quickly scan the occupants of a vehicle before deciding to enter if you note any suspicious situation like other passengers looking as if held hostage/ scared back far away immediately.
- Other suspicious behavior includes keeping secret contact with use of eye, facial and hand signals, people who earlier seemed to be in company of each other now boarded the car and pretending not to be together possibly strategically seated near driver at the doorway and in the rear. Passengers leaving packages or bags behind as if forgotten could be an explosive.
- Only use designated PSV vehicles operating with a duty crew on its designated route. Avoid taking lifts from private cars doubling as PSVs there are no guarantees that those inside are all genuine passengers.
- If you suspect anything alight immediately if not already stopped, take the registration number and report your suspicions to the police.
- The PSV crew must ensure each boarding passenger/s and their bags is searched properly to protect against introduction of weapons in the vehicle, which will later be used to commit the crime.