A Former Getaway Driver Speaks Out
I spoke to a former getaway driver (who wishes to remain anonymous). He claims to have been the wheelman to an armored truck robbery back in the '80s. He claims to have gotten away, but still ended up getting caught & arrested not more than a week later.
He does NOT recommend that anyone become a getaway driver—it's not only illegal, but you can be responsible for causing a lot of damage, hurting or even possibly killing someone and/or yourself.
Asking a Former Getaway Driver the Right Questions
I just nonchalantly walked up to him and asked him how he became the getaway driver. He just said that he had the right idea, but just went about it the wrong way.
It was the summer months during the '80s and he was a junkie—plain and simple. His mind wasn't right, he wasn't doing right and he needed the money. He and his friends got the desperate idea that they could actually knock over establishments for quick cash and get away with it—and they did!
They would steal a car from another county—Newton County, Indiana more than likely—and would drive back to Gary, Indiana to rob liquor stores, gas stations, and even drunk patrons leaving a bar or tavern.
After a night of robbing and stealing, they would just park the car in a neighborhood before sunrise. This went on for months.
Rule 1: Choose the Right Car
Never use a getaway car that can be traced back to you or anyone you know...anyone!
Always use a stolen car that has been stolen THAT day; even better would be right before. Use a vehicle that does not draw attention to itself. The five best colors for getaway cars are:
- Dark blue
Never use black, red, or yellow.
He laughed when I asked which car he preferred to steal before needing it as a getaway car. "A fast one," he said.
This isn't a video game, getaway cars aren't flashy. You're not going to steal some gear head's hot rod out of his garage or driveway, because it'll be reported stolen 10 minutes after you're gone, or you just won't be able to bypass the thousand dollar alarm system or a $500 pit bull.
Use a simple, dependable, and domesticated-looking family car.
If he were a getaway driver today, he said that a getaway car that had a sticker that read "Soccer Mom" or "Proud Parent" on the back window or bumper would be a nice touch.
Station wagons work best in case you need to use the rear of the station wagon as a battering ram. Never use the front of any vehicle to use as a battering ram, you'll mess up the engine—and you'll need that.
The rear of the vehicle is better to use as a battering ram, but still, be careful, your back tires, rims, and rear-end are back there, and they're kind of important too.
Truth is, you never want to use your getaway vehicle as a battering ram...but if you have to, a station wagon works best.
Rule 2: Stay Casual
Everybody's in; everybody's job is done but yours—now get to work!
Take off immediately. Never squeal your tires like you see in the movies, but you need to get going. Take as many turns as you can and go as straight ahead as you can (another oxymoron, I know).
If there are four of you, it's best if the people in the back lay low. Authorities will be looking for three people—not two. It's better to have a passenger sit shotgun, just so it looks as though you have reason to be out driving.
Drive seriously and safe when in a getaway car. Most getaway cars get spotted because they're not driving safely and seriously and are probably speeding.
Drive fast, but don't speed. This may sound like an oxymoron, but wait. This means don't speed, but get to where you're going, which more than likely is anywhere but where you're at...right? Stop completely at stop signs, follow the speed limit, and NEVER drive through a yellow light.
Drive sober and proper and never get involved with some idiot who has "road rage". These people will draw attention to you quicker than shit. It's best to just let the asshole drive by without any complications. It's better for everybody.
Sit close and wear your seatbelt properly. Try to get comfortable in the short amount of time you're going to be driving this getaway car.
Adjust your mirrors properly, make sure all the lights and signals work, and always make sure you have plenty of gas—it'll be just your luck if an hour after you get away, you get pulled over because a turn signal doesn't work. (That's another reason you don't ever want to use your getaway car as a battering ram.)
A common practice would be to park the stolen getaway car at a park or public pool. A place where no video cameras is best. Then when everybody gets out, just look natural and walk away. Notice your surroundings and always be alert.
Rule 3: Don't Look Suspicious
Never wear a hat or sunglasses, and try not to look nervous, agitated, or scared. Drive with one hand and with your arm stretched over the passenger seat—look casual but don't overdo it. Drivers who look happy and are smiling are less likely to be considered a suspect—sometimes.
Rule 4: Shorten the Chase
In this situation, the odds are NOT in your Favor. You will never outrun the radio. If the authorities get on your ass right away, you need to act fast and bail out immediately, if not sooner!
Shit happens. You know this, and now the authorities are closing in on your ass.
The only information I have regarding a chase is to go down a side street, park the getaway car in the middle of the street, and run your ass off. Make the authorities get out of their cars and pursue you on foot. Your chances of escaping have just increased—not much, but to more than where they were a second ago.
Taking Turns at High Speed
Eluding the authorities is next to impossible. The longer you stay on the road running from the authorities, the more the chance you're going to get caught and arrested, or worse—killed.
Taking turns at high speeds can be downright dangerous, but there is a secret at taking turns at high speeds. When turning, turn hard, then turn back into the turn to prevent spinning out. Practicing this very important method is necessary because it will be a turn that you will use if you're ever being pursued.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Questions & Answers
Question: Would a 2-wheel or 4-wheel drive be better for a getaway car?
Answer: Well, I'm guessing it would depend if you plan on going off-road.