Personal safety expert weighs in amid surge in carjackings

Stephanie Duprey
Updated: April 07, 2021 11:24 PM
Created: April 07, 2021 10:56 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — While police search for suspects in recent carjacking's throughout Monroe County, personal safety teams are urging people to be proactive. Police say they want the community to be on high alert. 

David Jenkins says he’s been teaching the Rochester community how to protect themselves for many years. Through his training center, Rochester Personal Defense he says he can train anyone on anything.

He told News10NBC that these recent carjackings are disheartening, but a perfect example to showcase how you can keep yourself safe in violent situations. 

"Be aware of what's going on around you don't be afraid to act on your feelings that if you feel something is wrong do something about it instead of just allowing it to happen,” Jenkins said.

Jenkins' training center is on Buell Road, the same street where a 71-year-old man was shot and killed Wednesday morning after an attempted carjacking.

"We were wondering what was going on down there and then we saw the cars out and we put two and two together,” Jenkins said. 

It’s clear that these criminals have no limits on what they're willing to do. Because there are no specific targets, it's strongly suggested that you have tools to protect yourself.

"Pepper spray, because anyone can have it, a stun gun or a taser version,” Jenkins said.

For those that have a license to carry, Jenkins says to make sure its easily accessible.

"It has to be accessible to you in the vehicle and mine sits on my hip concealed where it’s supposed to be,” Jenkins said.

Gates Police say one of the scenarios these criminals are staging during the carjackings involves them rear-ending their target.

"Look in the mirror, look behind you and if they look like they honestly just hit you they'll look panicked,” Jenkins said.

Protecting yourself is one thing, police are also saying "giving up" your car could also save your life.

"Give it up, give it up without a fight and just be a good witness and let us do our jobs. Obviously we've seen what the potential is and we can't allow that to continue,” Monroe County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Michael Fowler said. 

Gates Police are taking point in the case, and they say they're still looking for leads to make an arrest and are asking the community to help in any way they can.

Jenkins says his team streams different courses on their YouTube page. A basic handgun safety course will be streamed Thursday afternoon.

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