The number of carjacking cases has been decreased to almost 26 percent for the period of January to June this year as compared to the same period last year, according to the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Chief Supt. Leonardo Espina, Director of the PNP-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG), said in a report that for the first six months of 2012, a total of 547 carjacking cases were recorded as opposed to last year’s 739 motor vehicles that were reported stolen in the same period.

He also added that the statistics of carjacking cases were being observed on a monthly basis. The first half of 2012 has shown consistent decreases in carjacking cases: 108 reported cases in January; 117 in February; 104 in March; 87, 82, and 49 for April, May, and June respectively.

Last month’s statistics showed a 69.18 percent drop in carjacking cases compared to last year’s 159 recorded cases in the same month.

Noted also in the PNP-HPG report were 65.11 percent drop in motorcycle theft and 73.97 percent drop in four-wheeled motor vehicle theft for the month of June.

Today, one of the favored modi operandi of carjackers is pretending to be persons in authority (e.g. police, military, NBI, intelligence services) and confronting gullible motorists before robbing them of their vehicle, cash, and other valuables, according to research.

There are many variations to carnapping modus operandi, but it all points to one thing: the victim being distracted and compelled by pretences or false claims of the perpetrators. One of the better advices in car theft prevention is properly securing the vehicle and not stepping out of the vehicle immediately when something goes wrong. Perpetrators now resort to as far as bumping their victim’s car just to get them out of the driver’s seat.

Several identified areas of concern in Metro Manila where carjacking incidents often happen are the following:

1. Quezon Avenue underpass, which crosses EDSA

2. Tomas Morato and West Triangle in Quezon City

3. Teachers Village, Quezon City

4. Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City

5. Some stretches of EDSA in Quezon City

6. Katipunan Flyover coming from Libis, Quezon City

Though most carjacking incidents have been noted to occur in Quezon City, the crime can happen anywhere.

According to the Department of Justice, convicted car thieves will face 14 up to 17 years in prison.