Two recent carjackings in Austin have triggered a safety alert from authorities with Austin Community College. One of the victim's is an ACC student who was attack after attending class earlier this month.
The class day at the ACC - Riverside Campus Thursday started with an unexpected new lesson. It came in the form of an overnight electronic alert sent to students and faculty members. The notification was about a recent carjacking and urged everyone to be on their guard.
"I'm always aware of my surroundings, that's something I always do," said Ali Foh an ACC student studying Rehabilitation Care.
Brandon Torres, who also attends class at Riverside, said the alert was a surprise.
"It really made think about coming to school now."
That nervous feeling was also shared by second year student Alondra Martinez.
"Scary, I'm going to have to think about buying a permit so I can park my car in there."
The incident happened on Grove Street in front of the Riverside campus.
"The victim said two men brandishing a handgun tapped on the window and told the student to get out of the car," said APD Spokesperson Senior Patrol Officer Veneza Bremner.
The student wasn't hurt. The car, which looks like a Toyota convertible has not yet been recovered since it was taken March 7th. Finding the Toyota could help investigators link the ACC carjacking to another. It happened along Mission Hill Dr. just a few days ago. The victim in the March 15th attack escaped injury. The stolen car, unlike the car in the ACC incident, was found. Both cases are similar, which is why authorities decide to issue an alert Wednesday night.
The carjackers are described as two Hispanic males or light skinned African American males. They were seen in a tan 4-door sedan similar to a Honda Civic. If you have any information you are urged to contact the Austin Police Department.
Alondra Martinez said she knows what it's like to be a roadside victim.
"I was parked and my window was rolled down and a guy went up to my car and grabbed my purse and took off running. And what did you do? I went after him then he pulled out a gun so I stopped," said Martinez, who now recognizes giving chase was a mistake.
Here's what police want you to do in these kinds of cases.
"If you feel threatened if you can exit the area in your vehicle get out of there, if you can't draw attention to yourself as much as possible by sounding your horn, flashing your lights if its dark things like that to catch other person's attention," said Bremner.
If none of that is possible, just give up the property without a fight. Losing a material item is much better than losing your life.