AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- In the past month, there has been one attempted carjacking in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and a carjacking in Augusta. Police say these incidents are extremely rare, but they are a good reminder to all of us to pay attention to our surroundings.
Police in Augusta arrested 33-year old Shawn Doray Wednesday. He's now charged with kidnapping, robbery, criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon and criminal mischief.
Police say his victim did some quick thinking after Doray forced her into her car at the Walmart parking lot, demanding that she take money out of an ATM and give it to him.
She told him her ATM card didn't work and after 20 minutes of riding around, police say Doray pulled over on Mount Vernon Avenue, took the money she had in her purse, and ran. During the ride he ended up telling her a lot of personal information about himself, and it indirectly led to his arrest. Tipsters who saw news reports of the carjacking ended up telling police Doray was responsible. Police say Doray has confessed.
Police say the victim in this case seemed to help herself with her quick thinking, but they warn there's no one good way to handle a carjacker. Someone else might not have reacted as well.
Detective Lieutenant Keith Brann says it's always ideal to get away from an attacker before you're forced into your car. And the best way to avoid being a victim is to be aware of your surroundings. In this case, the victim actually did notice her attacker in the parking lot before he approached her, but many other people were near by as she was being carjacked.
Det. Lt. Brann said, "People should be paying more attention to what's going on around them. People were walking just feet away from this and had no idea what was going on."
Portland Police Officer Coreena Behnke, who teaches a self defense class, says you should use your voice as much as possible when you're being attacked. It will attract potential witnesses, even if you are forced into the car. You also can consider whether you should go after vulnerable areas on your attacker's body, like his feet, knees, groin, throat, eyes or nose. But she agrees that there's no one way to handle an attack. Especially if the carjacker has a weapon, fighting back might not be your best option. And she says, if someone asks for something of monetary value from you, the safest thing to do, generally, is to give it to them. "If they're asking for something, give them your purse, your wallet, your keys, because those are monetary objects that obviously, you can replace easily."