LA HABRA : Police Warn Drivers About Carjackings

Two months after the city’s first carjacking, authorities are warning motorists to stay alert and keep their car doors locked when driving.

Police Detective Michael M. Mitchell advised drivers to keep their windows up when possible and scan the road and sidewalks for suspicious activity.

He admitted that such precautions might not deter armed carjackers, but said that they will lessen a driver’s chance of becoming a victim.


“If (carjackers) brandish a gun, closed windows won’t stop bullets, so I just tell people to do what they say, give them what they want and hope that nothing will happen,” Mitchell said.

The police advisory comes as detectives continue to investigate the Jan. 6 carjacking at Walnut Street and Olive Avenue. Urvan Hernandez, a local resident, was halted at a stop sign at the intersection about 7 p.m. when two men, one armed with a gun, took his truck.

No one has been arrested in the case. Police are seeking three men between the ages of 25 and 35, including the driver who rode with the two men to the area.

Carjackings are on the rise because they are often easier to commit than spending several minutes trying to defeat a car alarm or other safety mechanisms, Mitchell said. The crime, like bank holdups, breaks federal law, and must be reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“If you’re not driving with your doors locked, you’re inviting it,” Detective Vernon Mangels said.

“I don’t know how to prevent carjackings,” Mitchell said. “All you can do is be aware of what’s around you.”