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It’s disheartening to think how much society has changed since the pandemic. It seems criminals have gotten more brazen and police and district attorneys more lax. It’s a bad combination. Crime is happening all over the country and is especially bad in California’s Bay Area. I’ve written multiples tips about follow-home robberies and keeping your belongings safe from smash and grabs. RELATED: Fake Cop Alert: How to Protect Yourself Amidst Increasing Police Officer Impersonation Cases

Crime is on the rise for retailers, too. Home Depot CEO Ted Decker told CNBC’s Squawk Box last week (embedded below), “This isn’t the random shoplifter anymore.” Yahoo reported on organized retail crime and theft and showed they are growing in both scope and complexity across the country. They cited a a study from the National Retail Federation that former Home Depot CEO recently described it as an “epidemic … spreading faster than COVID.”

But unfortunately, it’s not just retail theft or smash and grabs you have to worry about. There’s a resurgence of an old scheme happening now called the ‘bump and rob’.

According to FOX 2 Now, bump and rob carjackings are on the rise. “Corporal Dallas Thompson, Missouri State Highway Patrol, is sending a dire warning to drivers. ‘We have heard stories about this in the past and, most recently, we have seen some headlines now, where this may be starting to come back again, where vehicles are being involved in a minor fender-bender or crash, and when they pull over to the side of the road, one party decides to rob the other party,’ he said.

Carjackers will initiate contact with their target vehicle. When the victim gets out to check for damages or injuries, the suspects will steal the vehicle.”

TikToker Nichelle Laus, who specializes in safety and self-defense and is a former police officer, recently posted some helpful tips to protect yourself.

In Nichelle’s first video (embedded below), she warns, “If you are driving and minding your own business and happen to get bumped or tapped from behind, be wary and aware of your surroundings. Do NOT get out of your vehicle. Ensure the doors are locked and the windows are closed. Call 9-1-1 and give them your location. Use the rear view mirror to provide information on the vehicle and persons involved. If you are feeling unsafe, do not wait for police to arrive. Drive away to the nearest police station or public place where you can make that call. If you are ambushed, give up the car. Nothing is worth risking your life.”

@nichellelaus Also called Rear Bumping or Bump and Steal. Stay safe 🙏🏻 #SafetyTok #bumpandrob #drivesafe ♬ Stories 2 – Danilo Stankovic

Nichelle had quite a few comments, concerns and suggestions from viewers on both TikTok and Instagram where she shared the videos. its_alohagirl wrote, “First instinct is to get out and look at damage … all the techniques people prey on other people. How scary! Thank you for sharing!”

Ana Hernandez wrote what I was thinking, “Police say if there is no injuries they will not come to the scene.” However, Nichelle had a great response, “But if you tell them you fear for your safety because of the circumstances they will come.”

Galilea Bell pointed out: “keep in mind that if you leave the scene, it could possibly become a “hit and run” scenario.” She’s right so it’s a fine line and you have to be careful. Nichelle addresses this situation in yet another very helpful video:

@nichellelaus Replying to @Galilea Bell Children’s Books hope this helps some of the common questions and comments from my first video. Stay safe! #bumpandrob #SafetyTok #carjackings ♬ Storytelling – Adriel

mamba_point_native suggested, “Put your car in reverse if it has a backup cam, then use your phone to capture their plate number. And don’t get out of your car.” But the problem with this is that the car the perpetrator is using is most likely stolen.

I think the best advice, besides calling the police, comes from Vinnie.m85, who says, “That’s why have a tracker In your car.” Last month there was a brazen daytime robbery in Westport, Connecticut (near where I grew up) and the police caught the bad guys and their chop shop thanks to the car’s tracking device.

Nichelle followed up with another video, reiterating this tip but she offers an even a better suggestion. “Another tip from police regarding the use of trackers or Apple air tags. Place 2 in car – one thats easy to find and one that is more hidden. The thief won’t normally think of looking for a second one. Stay safe!”

@nichellelaus Replying to @🥱😮‍💨😪 Another tip from police regarding the use of trackers or Apple air tags. Place 2 in car – one thats easy to find and ine that is more hidden. The thief won’t normally think of looking for a second one. Stay safe! #airtags #SafetyTok ♬ Don’t Blame Me – Taylor Swift

I’ve been a huge fan of Apple AirTags for a couple of years now and I’ve been telling readers it’s the best way to track your checked baggage since you can’t rely on the airlines. I also keep one in my carry-on if it ever gets stolen. After listening to Nichelle’s advice, I’m going to buy a couple more AirTags to pop in different places in my car. One in the glove box or center console and another in a secret place.

I hope everyone does this because it’s really time to put an end to this madness. I think renomaxwellcooper said it best, “I’m tired of people. I really am.”

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