BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - There have been at least four violent carjackings in Jefferson County just within the last month.
"According to our investigators, there has been a spurt - it's been going up and down throughout the year," says Birmingham PD Sgt. Johnny Williams.
Sgt. Williams says there have been arrests in some of the cases. But, regardless of the outcome, what should you do if someone approaches and threatens to take your car?
"We don't want to give one set of rules to everyone because it may not apply to certain situations," Sgt. Williams says.
He adds that many times, if you comply, criminals will take the car and go on their way.
"Don't try to struggle and fight. You can possibly get another car, but you can't get another life," he says.
But that may not apply to every situation.
Sgt. Williams says the best thing to do is to plan ahead in an effort to prevent yourself from becoming a victim in the first place.
"We ask, if you can, just limit your shopping to during the day hours. If you must go at night, park close to the store, look at your surroundings before you exit the vehicle," he says. "We want you to just be careful and mindful of your surroundings."
If you find yourself being the victim of a carjacking, police say they know its stressful, but try your best to be a good witness for them. Try to remember as many details as you can about the suspect, and call police immediately so they can begin investigating right away.