Survive & Prevent being Carjacked

Although it doesn’t receive as much media attention as some other types of crimes, carjacking has once again become one of the top crimes in the country. For unsophisticated car thieves who can’t bypass modern-day car alarms, the crime is an easy way for them to steal a vehicle.

Carjacking is often a quick and brutal crime, one where the criminal uses violence and the force to obtain the vehicle. It’s one of the most dangerous types of crime you can encounter, as there is almost always a weapon and physical attack used during the theft.

Man about to have his car jacked

Carjacking Facts:

  • The Department of Justice reports that there are about 49,000 carjackings every year.
  • 93% of these crimes occur in cities or the suburbs.
  • 92% are committed when the victim is alone in their car.
  • 90% of carjackings involved the use of a weapon, most often a firearm.
  • Most of these violent attacks happen near the victim’s home or place of work.

The most likely places for a carjacking are:

  • High crime areas, mostly in larger urban cities.
  • Intersections, or anywhere that you are forced to come to a stop.
  • Isolated areas in parking lots: Most often in areas with poor lighting and some type of cover for the criminals to hide behind.
  • Home driveways and near gates into gated communities.
  • Traffic jams and congested areas.
  • Outside of ATMs, where criminals tend to target people because they know the victim will have cash.

Staying Safe: Prevent becoming a Carjacking Victim.

Carjackers tend to target people who are alone, and they usually strike when the person is getting ready to get into their vehicle. Parking lots, gas stations, and outside retail stores are all places where you need to be on alert.

When approaching your vehicle, awareness is your best weapon. It is the single most important thing you can do to prevent this crime.

  • Stay alert: Stay alert to what’s going on around you, and watch out for anyone who looks out of place.
  • Be Ready: Keep your keys ready when walking out to your car. Fumbling around for your keys can allow a criminal to get the upper-hand.
  • Look & Listen: Check the inside of your vehicle before getting in; criminals can sometimes be waiting for unsuspecting victims.
  • Know Who’s Lingering Nearby: Watch out for people who are loitering, asking for directions, looking for money or cigarettes, or handing out fliers. These are all techniques that are used by criminals who are looking for a quick and easy target.
  • Trust your instincts: Don’t ever underestimate your gut feelings. If something seems out of place, turn around and go back to where you came from. If you can’t turn around, quickly get in your vehicle, lock the doors, and leave the area immediately.

What to do While Driving:

Driving up to an Intersection

Even those who make it to their vehicle and out onto the road aren’t 100% safe from this type of crime. In fact, roadways are the second most common place for people to be attacked. From stoplights and traffic jams, to criminals who rear end your vehicle to get you to pull over, there are a number of ways these people can target you while out on the road.

Your best line of defense when driving is to make it as hard as possible for criminals to enter your vehicle.

  • Keep your doors locked at all times, windows rolled up when driving in the city, and sun roofs closed.
  • When coming to a stop, leave at least a vehicle and a half of space between you and the car directly in front you. If something happens, this will give you the room to quickly maneuver around the vehicle and make your way to safety.
  • Driving in the center lane can make it harder for criminals to box you in, and can give you more avenues to escape.
  • If someone does hit you from behind, keep your guard up. If something doesn’t seem right, stay in your vehicle with the windows rolled up and the doors locked; then call 911.

What to do when you reach your destination:

Parking a Car in a Parking Lot

This is often a time when people are most at risk, primarily because they drop their guard once they reach their destination.

  • Park in a well-lit area, near the building’s entrance. Make sure you park around other vehicles.
  • Avoid parking near wooded areas, large vans and trucks, or anything that hides your visibility or gives criminals cover to commit their crime.
  • Never leave valuables in plain view for people to see.
  • Look around before you get out of your vehicle. It may also be a good idea to make a loop around the parking lot to check out the situation before parking.

WORSE CASE SCENARIO: Someone attempts to jack your car…

  • Don’t ever Go With: Never get in the car with the criminal, it’s better to lose the car than to lose your life.
  • If they have a gun, Run: Statistics show that if you run, you have somewhere around a 90% chance of being safe. If you get in the vehicle, you probably have a 100% chance of something bad happening.
  • Crash: If for some reason you couldn’t get away and you’re forced to drive, one option you need to consider is buckling up and crashing your car near a busy intersection. Chances are the idiot carjacker didn’t take the time to buckle up, and will hopefully be hurt during the crash. When that happens, get out of the car and run like hell.


Clean These 5 Spots Before Selling Your Car | Autoblog Details

Selling a used car can be a daunting task. Buying one is even scarier. These 5 spots at minimum are critical to a quick sale and enticing the buyer to make a full price offer. Find out where they are and how to clean them on this episode of Autoblog Details.

Watch all of our Autoblog Details videos for more tips on car cleaning and maintenance by professional detailer Larry Kosilla. While you’re at it, check out Larry’s other video series on how to diagnose, fix, and modify cars, Autoblog Wrenched!

[00:00:00] Selling a used car can be a daunting task. Buying one is even scarier. These five spots at minimum are critical to a quick sale and enticing the buyer to make a full price offer. Find out where they are and how to clean them on this episode of Auto Blog Details. Floor mats can take a lot of abuse and can indicate how much wear and tear maybe on the other areas of the car. In short, it’s like a barometer for how well the car has been maintained. The solution is pretty simple, buy new replacement mats.

[00:00:30] If new mats are out of the budget, be sure to vacuum, fabric clean, and scrub the carpet at minimum. Once the mats are a bit cleaner, you can create the illusion of new mats by wiping the mat with a scrub brush in opposite directions called carpet lines. Remember, perception is everything when selling a used car. Inevitably a new buyer will lift the hood and look at the engine. Having a gunk-covered, dusty engine is a real turn-off.

[00:01:00] Lightly wiping down the plastic components with a damp towel can make a world of difference. Likewise, vacuum out any leaves or sticks that may be stuck in the hood jambs. Compressed air can be wildly helpful in these spots. Once clean, add a water-based tire dressing to the black plastic for a deep, rich look, but be sure to lightly wipe down the shine with a dry cloth afterwards. Heavy shine attracts dust, and you don’t wanna look too eager with a dripping wet engine. Subtlety is key here.

[00:01:30] As the seller, you’ve been in and out of your car a thousand times. A perspective buyer, however, has never sat in your particular car before, so think about the first time you sat in your car. How did it feel? How did it smell, and how did it look? Clearly turning back the clock is not possible, but focusing your attention to the driver’s side door, seat bolster, center console, door handle, and steering wheel are all places the driver must notice every time they get in the car.

[00:02:00] So if you’re gonna spend any time getting into the nitty-gritty details and fine touches, train your eye to see everything you would touch when you get in and drive away, because the potential new owner is gonna notice them on the test drive. Having a terrible smell can and will prevent the sale of a used car. In fact, cars have been considered totaled by insurance companies because of this devastating or uninhabitable odor. First, open all the doors of your car and remove any and all personal items.

[00:02:30] If there is an odor, try to locate the source of the smell and scrub and vacuum the surrounding areas. Next, consider removing and replacing your vehicle’s cabin filter. Adding flavorful scents to mask the smell will only create an even weirder smell, and raise the red flag to your potential buyer. If you absolutely must use a scent, stick to the fresh or the carpet cleaner-type smells. Pink bubblegum or fruity apple spice is not gonna cut it. I’m sure it goes without saying, but the first impression of any car is the outside, or in other words, the paint and the wheels.

[00:03:00] Having flawless paint can increase the value of your car by five to even 10%, but spending hours compounding and polishing to then sell it may not be feasible. But at the very minimum, wash and wax your paint. This will give even the worst of paint conditions a pretty face. Likewise, wheels or rims can cost as much as entire vehicles in some cases, so the importance of having them immaculate weighs heavily on the minds of buyers in today’s market.

[00:03:30] Spend the time cleaning the inside and the outside of the wheels and those knuckle-busting tight spots. Trust me, it’s worth the effort. I’ll leave you with two of my super-nerd tricks when I perform a pre-purchase inspection for my clients, or if I’m on the other side of the transaction and we’re preparing for sale. Number one, make sure the detail is done as close to the time of the potential buyer’s inspection, thereby avoiding any dust build-up or quick drives to the store that may spoil your hard work. Number two, do not show the car in the same spot you just used for washing it. The ground is wet, soap buckets and vacuums surrounding the car, this is not a good look.

[00:04:00] As a buyer I wanna get the sense a car has always been super-clean. If you found this video helpful, please share and keep up with all the latest detail videos by liking or subscribing to the Auto Blog page. I’m Larry Casilla from, thanks for watching.

Camping to Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Amarillo is east of Albuquerque 285 miles or 4 hours away on I40. I know the festival is over for this year but if your planing on camping for next year, you should plan now and book your reservations now before they are all filled up. Amarillo can be your last leg of your trip to Albuquerque and can be the perfect time to get your Coach or Camper washed. This time of the year we get 2 to 3 weeks out on our schedule, So even if you don’t know witch RV park your staying at you should book now.  You will get a conformation and 3 day before your schedule you will get a reminder by then you can add what RV park your staying at. This way you can secure your wash slot now before all the slots are gone.  If you’re looking at staying in Amarillo I have provided a map with all the RV parks in the Amarllo Area:




If you’re like me when staying in another town, you like to eat at some local restaurants that the locals eat. I have listed them here for you on this map: