Police chief shares do’s and don’ts as DC, Maryland see increase in carjackings

The carjacking attempt that resulted in the shooting of a Commanders player Sunday has received the lion’s share of attention, but the District and parts of Prince George’s County, Maryland, have seen an increase in the crime all through this year, and a local police chief has recommendations to protect yourself.

The Hyattsville Police Department tweeted on Friday that there have been 71 carjackings “within the incorporated municipal jurisdictions of our county this year,” a 45% increase over last year. That includes another one in the predawn hours of Friday on Hamilton Street. That one didn’t result in any injuries, a police spokesperson said.

In D.C., there have been 326 carjackings so far this year. This time last year, there were 256.

Hyattsville Police Chief Jarod Towers recommends parking your car in well-lit areas and checking your surroundings before exiting your vehicle.

“Always lock your doors,” Towers advised. “We’ve seen instances where suspects have just got in the car and sat in the car with you, and then demanded that you drive them somewhere, take them to an ATM machine. There’s a whole lot of risk, when someone gets in the car with you,” Towers said.

On the top of his list of things not to do? “Fight back.”

Anna-Lysa Gayle

Anna-Lysa Gayle is an award-winning reporter and anchor, with five Emmy awards and more. Before joining WTOP, she spent nearly a decade as a TV news reporter for ABC and CBS news affiliates.

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