This is a trick that has been used by criminals lately. The bump and rob is used by thieves in junk or stolen cars. It is one that I felt needed to be here on ConAware, as I know it is a common tactic here in Puerto Rico as well as several cities in the United States.
How crooks use the bump and rob
They may see you shopping or follow you from a club. When you stop at an intersection, the crook rolls into your car. Not realizing you are being set-up, you may get out of your car to meet 1 or 2 criminals who will smile and ask if you are ok. The next thing you know, you have a gun pointed at you and they are taking your money, jewelry, things you bought and possibly even your vehicle.
I must also mention, this is a tactic used by rapists too.
This problem was so bad at one point here in Puerto Rico late at night, that a law was passed that a person could run a red light if the coast is clear.
So, what is the best thing to do if you are bumped by a suspicious car?
Most of us carry cell phones, and I would immediately call 911 and explain the circumstance…while you are driving to a well lit and hopefully high-traffic area. While doing so, try to attain the license plate of the suspicious vehicle. Explain to the 911 operator why you are leaving the scene and they may even guide you on where to go.
If the other vehicle operator is honest, they will follow you, but if they were attempting to rob you, they will more than likely find a different victim.
Other safety measures
It is wise to always keep your door locked and window up, because this robbery system can also be used by pedestrians. Many people have had their car “jacked” because they did not follow simple safety measures.
While helping stranded motorists seems like the right thing to do, that is another robbery method. You can help by calling the police and telling them the stranded motorist’s location, while you keep going.
While it is sad that we have to operate this way, our safety calls for it. I suggest you stay aware…as I say, we must be Con & Crook Aware. Don’t fall for the bump and rob.