NEW ORLEANS – A recent rash of carjackings and armed robberies has the NOPD’s Second District Commander suggesting that college students and women avoid traveling alone overnight when many of the crimes are committed.

“I would suggest to any female, if they can prevent it, do not travel alone overnight," said Second District Commander Shaun Ferguson. "If you absolutely have to, stay on the phone with someone and let them know where you’re going. Keep them abreast of your whereabouts."

A female college student from Tulane was carjacked early Tuesday when another car struck hers from the rear. As she got out of the car, three men from the other vehicle got out and one of them pushed her to the ground. That man got into her car, while the other two jumped into their vehicle and fled.

The incident happened around 3:15 a.m. near the intersection of Nashville and Claiborne.
Ferguson said the incident was one of perhaps three or four carjackings in the city. The victim’s car was recovered in the 5600 block of Royal Street. Ferguson said it was uncertain if the incidents were related.

Ferguson was asked what people should do in similar situations and he had some chilling advice for women, whom he said are more often targets of these types of crimes.

"Should you come to a stop, should you be rear-ended for some unforeseen reason, if you do not feel comfortable where you are, I would say continue to a well-populated or well-lit area which you feel is more of a safe haven.”

Ferguson also said you can signal to the driver behind you and point in the direction in which you are going. He said you should also call police while you are driving to the safe haven.

He had similar advice for college students, who often feel they are invincible.

“Try to travel in packs. Be it on foot or in a vehicle,” Ferguson said. “I would always recommend that you travel with someone. Don’t ever fight with an individual who is trying to attack you or rob you. I would always recommend to be compliant. The most important thing in any incident is that you are able to walk away from that incident.”