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Messages for U.S. Citizens

Motorcycle Thefts and Precautions

March 23, 2012

In recent months, three Chadian citizens employed by the U.S. Embassy have been attacked during attempts to steal their motorcycles.  One of these attacks resulted in the victim being stabbed.

The Embassy offers the following guidance to lessen your chances of becoming a victim.

Vary Your Routes and Times

Make yourself difficult to predict. If you leave for work a bit earlier than normal, and take a different route when possible, you decrease the chance that someone might try to steal your vehicle. Most attacks occur at night.

If Possible, Travel in Groups

Criminals are far more likely to attack an individual than a group. When riding motorcycles, try to coordinate a time to travel or commute with a colleague. When riding in cars, try to travel with companions, ideally multiple people, but with at least a passenger next to the driver. Remember to keep windows up and doors locked. Don’t let a loud radio distract you from your surroundings; always remain alert. For motorcycle riders: always wear your helmet.

If you become a victim - do not resist, create distance, get help

If someone wants what you have, give it to them.  Most of the time criminals in Chad are interested in possessions, not committing violence. Surrender your vehicle or other valuables. Remove yourself from the situation and call for help.

You can stay in touch and get Embassy updates by checking the U.S. Embassy N’Djamena website. Please check for regular updates on the U.S. Embassy N’Djamena website. You can also get global updates at the U.S. Department of State's, Bureau of Consular Affairs website where you can find the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information.  Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well or you can download our free Smart Traveler iPhone App for travel information at your fingertips.  If you don't have internet access, we have a call center for updates, which can be reached toll-free at 1-888-407-4747 in the United States and Canada, or from other countries on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except federal holidays). 

If you are going to live in or travel to Chad, please take the time to tell us about your trip by enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).  If you enroll, we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements.  It will also help your friends and family get in touch with you in an emergency.  Even if you have already enrolled, you should remember to keep all of your information in STEP up to date.  It is important during enrollment or updating of information to include your current phone number and current email address where you can be reached in case of an emergency. 

The U.S. Embassy is located in N’Djamena on Avenue Felix Eboue; mailing address B.P. 413, N’Djamena, Chad.  The Embassy telephone number is (235) 22-51-70-09.  The Embassy fax number is (235) 22-51-56-54.

For after-hours emergencies, U.S. citizens should call (235) 66-62-21-00 or (235) 2251-70-09 and ask to speak with the duty officer.