Detroit motorists are fearing for their lives after their city has become under siege with carjackings. Dubbed as the “carjack city” Detroit drivers are on the defense from a series of threatening carjackers.
According to reports all of these attacks happen at gas stations, and the armed thieves are so frequent in the area that parts of the bankrupt city are referred to as “carjack city.” Many drivers are afraid to step out of their car to fill up their tank, in fear of being high jacked.
This is just one repercussion that has occurred after Detroit declared bankruptcy in July of 2013. In order to ensure the safety of motorists, gas stations have started to protect customers by enlisting a special police unit that will pursue suspects of carjacking. In addition, those who are convicted will have their faces as well as their prison sentences onto billboards along the roads.
Mousa Bazzi, who owns one of the gas stations in a semi-vacated neighborhood that borders Detroit’s east riverfront, has hopes that the police will deal with these assailants appropriately.
“You need to catch these people and make a good example of them.”
For right now, Bazzi keeps the Mobil station well-lit and has two to four employees to assist drivers. Bazzi said that with his extra employees “there’s always an extra hand or two”
Although Detroit’s decrepit state can be blamed, authorities are blaming the string of carjackings on improvements in vehicle security. Due to the hands free features such as an anti-theft equipment, GPS systems, and advanced locks, these allow people to drive their vehicles without needing a key in the ignition.
Due to this carjackers are targeting those who are alone in their car so they can make a quick getaway without having to worry about someone being in the backseat. Because of the aforementioned features, thieves are only targeting cars that are occupied. Thieves are also after wheels and tires, according to police officials.
Sgt. Michael Woody explained that while there are programs for gas stations to take part in to better ensure the safety of their customers, there’s a waiting list to become one of the “lighthouse” businesses.
“We have so many gas stations that want to become a lighthouse. You get better protection with that big sticker in the window that tells criminals there is proper equipment that will help police investigate these crimes.”
It’s not a surprise that gas stations want to jump on this new safety model. Just in the last year police officials have reported 720 carjackings, considering there’s less than 700,000 people currently living in the city, that number is significant.
[Image via Vlue / ShutterStock]