Quick action by Tulsa woman stops attempted carjacking

Wednesday, April 24th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

A carjacking scare for a Tulsa woman. She was driving with her car doors unlocked in midtown Tulsa in broad daylight, when someone jumped into her car.

News on Six crime reporter Lori Fullbright has this woman's story of courage in hopes it helps others survive. Sarah Landers says she got too comfortable with her surroundings; she's lived in the same neighborhood for more than 20 years without a problem. That's why she didn't bother to lock her car doors on the way to a doctor's appointment just six blocks from her home. "I was right here, turning in and there was a car coming out, so I let him in and in one to two seconds, a man was inside my car."

He didn't have a weapon, but he did tell her to drive. Landers recently had both her hips and one of her knees replaced, so running was out of the question. "In my mind, there were a couple of things I could do, open the door and fall into traffic. I couldn't run, or I could go with him and I knew I wasn't going to go with him."

Landers chose another option, to pull into the doctor's parking lot and make all the noise she could. "I put it in park and I put my hand in my purse to reach for my cell telephone and I yelled at him, get out of my car, get out, get out, right now." And, it worked, the suspect, jumped out and ran away.

Police say even if the person has a weapon, there are ways to survive. Other things you can do are run red lights to get the attention of police or slam into a telephone pole or at the nearest intersection jump out and run away, anything to escape.

Landers has learned her lesson and says she'll never become complacent again. "I thought things like this happened in dark parking lots at night. I never dreamed it would happen on Utica on a sunny afternoon." Because crime can happen anywhere, anytime, the best thing you can do is be alert and prepared for anything.

The suspect got away before police got there. Officers suggest you drive with your windows up and doors locked no matter what the season.