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In almost every family, there’s one adult who likes to go into stores and one who would rather wait outside in the car. This not only means not walking around and being bored, but it also means you can pull up and quickly load the groceries and toilet paper. Personally, I’m the adult in the family who’d rather sit in the car and sometimes work.

Even if you’re not trying to work, it can be tough to maintain situational awareness and watch out for carjackers (or other threats) for very long. For this reason, some people drive around parking lots and don’t stop moving while waiting outside. This is a good strategy, but for those of us still burning gas or diesel in our cars (that’s still almost everybody), it’s a costly one. But, it has the benefit of keeping you aware and awake.

But, since my wife likes to spend a long time in stores on some trips, I like to be able to take some work along to do. So, I started gaming things out to see if there was a way to improve a person’s safety while hanging out in the parking lot. The answer I found, and sadly got to test, was the lowly cart corral.


By pulling the driver’s side of the car close to the corral, I left very little space for someone to approach the driver’s door. I then left my Chevy Bolt EUV (an EV) in drive, with the parking brake on. I figured that if someone approached the car, they’d have a harder time seeing me, and I’d get a chance to mash the skinny pedal, which automatically disengages the parking brake, letting me get away with one gross motor movement.

In addition to that, I kept the car’s rear camera display on, along with the rear view camera. Then, I held my laptop near the display. This put motion in any direction in my slightly peripheral vision, making it easy to notice anyone approaching the vehicle.

One night, while typing an article, I got to test this system. A man came running up to the car and squeezed between the mirror and the car corral, and then started trying to break my window. So, I did what I had mentally prepared to do and slammed the accelerator. This left the guy with nowhere to go, so he suffered a pretty gnarly leg injury during the attempted carjacking. But, he managed to hobble away and hide somewhere before the police could find him.

Now, I park a lot closer to the cart corral, leaving no room for anybody to get in there. Since then, I’ve seen a few shady characters walk by, stare at the car and the cart corral, and then walk off.

Obviously, not every parking lot is going to be set up where you can do this. But, if you find yourself having to wait for someone, it makes sense to look for ways to make your vehicle harder to approach. If nothing else, backing your car or truck against a wall cuts off the most obvious way to sneak up on you.

We can’t totally go Kevin from Home Alone on these types of people, but anything we can do to plan ahead better than they do and avoid having to shoot someone can make life a lot easier for us and harder for them.


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  1. I drive a 1997 Sunfire.
    a desperate illegal might want it.
    Mi caro es la bomba.
    Iiiieeee it’s harder to push then rolling beans uphill. No bueno

    • a clutch is effective. not driving keeya, hunguy or newer jeeps also.
      never had anything with a heads up screen, but the p.o. left his parrot hands free device. no idea how it works.

      • The newest 2024 model of the older vehicle I drive has a large Tesla-style monitor in the middle of the dash, plus a ton of (IMHO unnecessary) electronic stuff. Not only drives up the initial purchase price of a vehicle, but shoots the lifetime ownership cost to the moon, as 5x the parts means eventually those will need to be replaced at some point, resulting in 5x the repair/maintenance costs. I read just last week that one specific and very popular make/model’s front bumper *alone* has evolved from 18 parts a few years ago to 42 components today due to the addition of sensors and such. No wonder auto insurance rates are skyrocketing…repair costs are through the roof (in addition to another, more political, reason).

        And for what? Most of the gadgetry installed in today’s vehicles are nothing more than just that…gadgets.

        • My girlfiend had to go to college so she could start hers.
          She’s real proud of all the fancy.
          I drove it one day and just about suffocated because I didn’t know how to turn off the heater.
          And fck them heated seats too, all that made me wanna do is take a sht.

    • I haven’t owned a vehicle made after 1998 ever, and don’t ever plan to. They can take that “skinny pedal” and place it in a bucket of sand.

        • gimme snow and i’m around the block before you get outta yer spot. more because you can’t parallel park though. arctic panzer wolf tread notwithstanding.

        • sorry debs, a .060 over 454 is a little less than 467 c.i. ….nice lie, oops, nice try

  2. I think the better strategy is to shop together, one selecting items for the cart, the other watching for any disruptions. Car jackers are unlikely to approach your car if you’re not in it. In other words, if you’re sitting in your car you’re making yourself a target. Better to act as guard to the person shopping. Isn’t it just as likely some disturbance will occur in the store as well as outside?? Perhaps ever more so. You want to leave the other person on his or her own because you’re sitting in the car?? And you can still load the groceries and toilet paper.

    You don’t want to go in the store because it’ll bore you?? That’s how much you care about your S.O. that you won’t accompany them and watch out for disturbances??

    I’ll just leave that question there. You’ve got serious issues.

    • Her mental illness is showing. Pathological narcissism. Almost all in her particular demographic suffer from it.

    • Desert dude
      She thought she come up with a good idea and here you go and fck it all up.
      I suppose a person could tie a rope to the steering wheel and put a brick on the accelerator.
      We go round in circles
      Uhh huh

    • To be fair; some people have disabilities that may allow them to drive to a store, but maybe not walkaround with their S.O. Sitting in a car may be the only option.

      Her suggestion is sound and a novel way of mitigating the risk. There are other ways we can game this and collectively come up with mitigating solutions to the national crime scourge. These comment sections are great way to develop ideas. Being judgmental and attacking someone because you disagree with them isn’t very productive.

      Personally, I like to stay with my wife when shopping. We train to watch each other’s backs.

        • deb the dim-wit is the expert on pathetic, with her decades of personal experience in being a hate-filled pathetic loser…

      • RE: “Personally, I like to stay with my wife when shopping. We train to watch each other’s backs.”

        Same here.

      • Don’t white knight for that liberal. She would much rather vote for her identity group than your gun rights.

        • I am definitely not what people would describe as a “white knight”. I don’t know her, so I have no reason to defend her. My comment is strictly on the context of the article. I also will admonish the TTAG community to continue to focus on what unites us and not what divides us. We are better than those unfortunate haters that want to tear us apart.

    • I almost always go in with the wife also, for two reasons. First is the security aspect noted by many of you. I’m looking at people, down aisles, at exits, etc. while she shops. Second is, I do impulse shopping. I grab things and place them in the cart now and then, as she turns her back. “Hey, where’d that Nutella come from?” and the like, usually with a few syllables in Spanish. It began when our daughter was a toddler, and we would sneak off to the toy section while mama shopped, get a few little doodads, and sneak them into the cart. “How did that Polly Pocket get in here? Fall from the ceiling?” It really got fun if she didn’t notice something until it was already on the conveyor at the checkout. We got a lot of hidden smiles.

      Nowadays, if she calls me out for something I snuck into the cart, I tell her that I’ve been done shopping for a while now, but since she keeps going around, I’ll probably keep noticing things that I just remembered that I wanted. How much more do you want to spend today? It usually gets her out of the store quicker. Of course, I don’t say that if we’re near the skillet section, not being an ignoramus.

  3. You know how to avoid getting robbed at walmart?

    Do not go to walmart. They’re almost as evil as the fascist progressives.

    • Or like the recent EV theft, in Kalifornia of course, where the car was easily tracked through a phone app and the crooks were arrested when the EV battery went flat during the chase.

      • Yeah that’s another problem with EV, if you run out of juice you can’t have a friend bring you out a can.
        Just another control scheme. If carbon pollution is the real reason for EV’s it’s to late to change anything now.
        EV’s at this time represent more dependency on China, but that’s a good thing ,right?
        They think so.
        ” My EV won’t start.”
        K, I’ll get behind you and push, when we get up to around 20mph pop the clutch.

  4. Mangle a thug with a car seems like a lot less hassle & legal troubles than resorting to the pew pew.

    • “Mangle a thug with a car seems like a lot less hassle & legal troubles than resorting to the pew pew.”

      It isn’t.

      If you use a car and claim self-defense in doing so you are subject the the same ‘use of force’ law concepts as if you had used a gun.

  5. Gun Control & Childhood Cancer Linked In New Gun Control Video… This Is Genuinely Disgusting….

    • I’m 99.999% sure no one will jack my old minivan. And if they try I’m armed. So is my girl. Never park in a crowd of cars. Never if possible park where you can’t see what’s coming. Try to not shop at night. I was accosted in broad daylight at a gas station. I intimidated the he!! out of the puny punk blocking my way. BTW just got gas & went to a dollar store & Aldi’s. I practice what I preach🙄

  6. That sounds like a crime-ridden area. How about ordering ahead of time? You can pull up, and the employee will load the stuff into your trunk for you. You never have to get out of the vehicle. You’ll be in a high traffic area. There is no extra cost for this.

      • While it was a very sensible and reasonable solution to a practical problem……….yeah you have a strong point because which I tend to have a bunch of points in the hollow or other varieties for the less than desirable shopping excursions.

      • Yeah, but this is Walmart. You go there for common items that can be found anywhere. You know what you need. For more specialized items or whole foods that you want to select, don’t go to Walmart. Also, maybe don’t buy bread from Walmart. The last two times I went there late (pre-Covid when they were open late), I saw roaches in the bread section. I assume they come out late when less people are around.

  7. Here in Oklahoma we can put a round through the window and into their face once they touch the door handle. Fuck letting them escape.

  8. you know what I have to do when I go to walmart?

    Nothing. I dont live in a democrat controlled dump, and crime is next to nonexistent here because criminals are locked up.

    its impressive the lengths people will go to, to avoid actually addressing the core problem, and this article is a fine example of exactly that

    • I was thinking the same thing. Here and her wife need to move. OF course, your little EV might not work because you tend to drive a little further sometimes.

      • San Fransisco seems like a nice fit for them, they’d be surrounded by their own kind though they might have to wait months maybe years, to schedule an appointment with a therapist (they ALL go to one).

  9. Both my local grocery store and the Walmart have a surveillance vehicle/trailer parked out in the middle of the parking lot. It has a tall pole with cameras on it, and a blue flashing light. Once these were installed, the homeless seemed to evaporate over night.

  10. I avoid parking next to the corrals. The odds of getting hit by an errant cart are just too high for me.
    I do appreciate the food for thought, though. That thinking can be applied in many places.

  11. Jennifer came up with a good idea, just because she’s female doesn’t mean she can’t have a female companion. Her choice of veehickle is her choice.
    ,,,,,,ugh, this leaky exhaust pipe is giving me a headache, don’t text and drive.

    • “Jennifer came up with a good idea, just because she’s female doesn’t mean she can’t have a female companion.”

      I’m with you on that one. I really don’t care who someone wants to sleep with, as long as it’s a legal adult…

        • Nah, what’s that make her in possum years, my dude???

          No one knows what the actual possum lifespan would be . . . too damn many F-150s. Like wondering how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop.

  12. my strategy
    to foil carjackers at walmart
    is to never go to walmart
    i started this years ago
    when they went woke
    and stopped selling handgun and 5.56 ammo
    im enjoying a 100 percent success rate
    so far it has worked
    every time i tried it
    i recommend it to everybody

  13. A Chevy Bolt is the ultimate in disposable cars…just a half step above a golf cart.

    The criminals in your area must not have much of a selection to choose from, if they are going after toys cars.

  14. I call bull$h!t on this actually happening. Someone want to prove me wrong with a police report, security footage, or corroborating witness?

    No one would try to steal a bolt. Never been in or looked in, but I can be pretty certain they don’t have a key you turn to start. Go in the store and take your card, phone, or whatever it is with you and the chances of anyone having the knowledge, equipment, motive, and desire to steal that particular car is statistically zero.

  15. “… We can’t totally go Kevin from Home Alone on these types of people …”

    Ummm yes we can (at least in sensible states), it could save yours or your loved one’s life.

  16. Better strategy.
    Roll down your window.
    allow perp to reach into your car
    roll up your window to restrain the invading arm while disarming perp or rendering gun inoperable.
    start car, put car in drive.
    accelerate, taking would be carjacker for a ride around the parking lot.
    accelerate to about sixty,
    drive towards lano post.
    roll down window to release perp just as you drive past lamp post.

  17. I just reread more carefully.
    I am reminded of the personality test in the book REAL MEN DON’T EAT QUICHE
    One question was:
    your wife tells you that she is leaving you for another woman.
    your response?
    A. nuke her.
    B. divorce her.
    C. send out for quiche.
    D. ask if you can watch.

    Naturally, I didn’t actually take the personality test. real men don’t take personality tests. however; if I had taken the personality test, my answer would have been D.

    • Most wives become buy sexual. And why did she think my name was Ron?
      No matter how much I gave she kept saying ” More Ron.”

    • My girlfriend at the time bought me that book, I may still have it somewhere.

      I remember one passage read:

      “Real men drive Chryslers …. big hulking Chryslers with 500 cu in engines and automatic transmissions (because they’re secure enough to let the car shift itself). That fit, I had both an International Scout w/plow, a 1968 w/4 cyl and a two door Plymouth Satellite Sebring Plus 318 cu in engine with an auto trans.

  18. Taking the extremist view of actually discussing the point of the column, I would suggest the following:

    Carry – a shoulder holster has better access. Be prepared to use it – and go deaf – but that’s always been one of the negatives.

    Park where you can see all around, not be trapped in vehicle when it is attacked from the one open side.

    Don’t work on something else that distracts you. I’ve tried it, waiting for a family member to get off work, dark parking lot after 10PM, and playing a game on the phone guarantees they will open the door handle and startle me. NOT being distracted, I can see them, start the car before they arrive, and unlock the door for them, rather than be a sitting duck.

    If anyone approaches on foot or vehicle, start the car right then. Your vehicle is the best escape and also weapon. People WILL squeeze in, I had a homeless guy do that at the Bank, he was nearly trapped between my open window and the teller’s window – not good if he had actually planned mayhem.

    If the above does happen, consider a response that doesn’t have bullets ricocheting. But we can’t discuss those options publicly these days anymore, Red Flag incidents and dead citizens awakened in the middle of the night are now an effective oppression technique.

    That is why so many of these columns are now taking up space online with very little real value. And there is always a provocateur who will post something snarky to shame readers and justify his hours monitoring the net from his basement.

    They don’t even own cars.

  19. At my local Walmart there have been shootings across the street. Shooting in the parking lot. And had an employee shot to death by a homeless drug addict.

    So I take precautions. Where ever I go in town.

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