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2012-11-01

New carjacking scam on rise

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

Bandera City Marshal James "Charlie" Hicks is warning city and county residents about a new carjacking scam that is currently operating throughout Texas.
According to Hicks, scammers tape a piece of paper to the rear windshields of vehicles belonging to potential victims. A victim then enters his vehicle and begins backing out of a parking space before noticing the paper on the windshield.
Normally, Hicks said, the intended victim puts the vehicle in park and steps out of it to remove the paper. "At this point, the scammers will force the victim back into his vehicle and steal his belongings and packages - or worse," Hicks said.
He added that this scam, which has been reported in Texas, could spread to this area due to the current tough economy.
"Please, always be aware of your surroundings and never retrieve anything taped or stuck on your vehicle until you have left the area and feel your surroundings are safe," Hicks said.
He also urged citizens to remember that scammers and thieves are opportunistic. "They want what you have and will go to great extremes to get them. Please lock your vehicles and never leave valuable items in plain sight," Hicks cautioned.
He also believes that vehicle burglaries, carjackings and robberies will increase as holidays approach.
"I know we live in a small community, but our Kerr County neighbors have already experienced a large number of vehicle burglaries in residential areas," Hicks said. "It can happen here so please be careful. If I can be of any assistance to you, contact me at the marshal's office at 830-796-3456."
He also urged citizens to report any suspicious activity to law enforcement authorities immediately.