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Is pepper spray effect against carjackings? Carjacking, a type of robbery, is theft or attempted theft of a motor vehicle by force or threat of force. Between 1997 and 2002, carjackings accounted for 3% of the 2.3 million vehicle thefts per year that occurred nationwide. An average of 51,000 completed and attempted carjackings took place each year in the United States between 1997 and 2002. Carjackings can be violent. Drivers (without pepper spray protection) have been beaten and even murdered while being pulled out of their car.