Objects in the Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer (To Real) Than They Are
Date Added: Mar. 4, 2004
E-mail chain-letters warning of 'new' criminal schemes to separate you from your belongings often read more like 'how-to' guides for thieves than a self-defense tip. This one is likely just another urban-legend type warning that took someone's imagining of a scheme that could work and crafted it as a warning about a scheme that supposedly is happening.
Important safety tip to think about and remember!
Subject: Be Aware!
One more thing to think about... Be aware of new car-jacking scheme BE AWARE and BE SAFE Imagine:
You walk across the parking lot, unlock your car and get inside.
Then you lock all your doors, start the engine and shift into REVERSE. Habit!
You look into the rear-view window to back out of your parking space and you notice a piece of paper, some sort of advertisement stuck to your rear window.
So, you shift into PARK, unlock your doors and jump out of your vehicle to remove that paper (or whatever it is) that is obstructing your view... when you reach the back of your car, that is when the car-jackers jump out of no where ... jump into your car and take off -- your engine was running, your purse is in the car, and they practically mow you down as they speed off in your car.
BE AWARE OF THIS NEW SCHEME
Just drive away and remove the paper that is stuck to your window later and be thankful that your read this email and that you forwarded it to your friends.
>Like the ether disguised as perfume abduction scheme, ankle-slashing gang member initiation scheme, shopping mall abductions scheme and the naked-in-the-restroom theft ploy warnings before it, this one incorporates many elements of urban legend:
So, is there anything to this warning? It offers no concrete proof that it's happening, nor can I find any reliable media account of such a scheme being carried out. In fact, the letter resembles someone's creative imaginings of a crime that could happen, not one that is.
While the scenario is definitely possible, it is not plausible for many reasons. To understand the main reasons, we must first understand the difference between a car-jacker and a car-thief.
The scheme described above would appear to be better suited for car-thieves than car-jackers, as it would require a great deal of planning and waiting. This may seem like a pointless matter of semantics, but it goes a long way toward showing the implausibility of such a scheme. The typical car-jacker would find it too complicated, while the car-thief would prefer to nab the vehicle when there is no risk of getting caught.
But it's implausible for two additional, simpler reasons:
Warnings like these also tend to offer very specific advice to avoid being taken by the particular scheme described, thus often missing the broader picture.
Most importantly, to avoid being a victim of this or any other type of crime that could happen in a parking lot, be aware of your surroundings and look for anything out of the ordinary. Too often, we are in a hurry to get to our next destination and we don't pay attention to things in our immediate vicinity.
Oh, and never rely on anonymously authored and haphazardly forwarded e-mail chain letters for your personal safety, either. Break this chain.
References: About.com, Snopes.com