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The US Department of Justice defines carjacking as completed or attempted robbery of a motor vehicle by a stranger to the victim. Carjacking differs from other auto theft because the victim is present and threatened by the offender. Here are some statistics from the Dept. of Justice reports on carjacking from 1993 to 2002:
* Carjacking rates were higher on average during the first 5 years of the 1993-2002 period (2.1 per 10,000 persons each year) than during the last 5 years (1.3 per 10,000).
* Carjacking victimization rates were highest in urban areas, followed by suburban and rural areas. Ninety-three percent of carjackings occurred in cities or suburbs.
* A weapon was used in 74 percent of carjacking reports. Firearms were used in 45 percent of carjackings, knives in 11 percent and other weapons in 18 percent.