When on the roads anywhere in South Africa, the threat of hijacking never really goes away. Whether it is at a red robot, or in your own driveway, a criminal intent on stealing your car will find the opportunity to do so. The best thing you can do is be aware of their tricks.
Recently, the South African Police Service, released information about the latest ways hijackers are targeting motorists.
To be hijacked is a tremendously traumatic event. Not only are you robbed of your vehicle, but your sense of safety is also assaulted. Every day car theft of this kind is reported in towns and cities across the country and there is no saying which cars are more prone to theft than others. It could be a well-thought out crime or a spur of the moment attack, but the result is the same.
Hijacking is one of South Africa’s most common crimes and each time we drive our vehicles or arrive home late at night to a dark driveway and a manual gate, the thought of being hijacked is never too far from our minds. The SAPS has recognised a number of techniques that have become quite popular but keep in mind that although they can share their insight, it only goes so far in terms of keeping you safe.
New Hijacking Techniques
In Mahikeng, motorists have reported a number of fake traffic officers committing hijackings, a technique that is effective and sadly damaging the trust people have in traffic authorities. And on occasions, when the vehicle is stolen, the victims are not able to leave their cars, which makes for a terrifying event.
“Following a number of carjacking incidents that were recently reported at various clusters within the province, police urge motorists to be cautious when travelling or stopping alongside the roads or when ordered to stop by other motorists as that could be hijacking suspects.”
“In some instances, particularly in Mahikeng Cluster, unsuspecting motorists were stopped, robbed of their valuables and their vehicles hijacked by people who pretended to be traffic or police officials. Motorists are requested to be vigilant and to report suspicious persons or vehicles at the nearest police stations.” – SAPS statement
Along with the worrying trend of false police officers, the SAPS have also noted other trends that have become all too familiar with this crime. Drivers who pull over to relieve themselves on the side of the road instantly put themselves at risk and then there is the issue with staged accidents. Good Samaritans stop to assist the supposed victim of a minor accident and end up victims themselves.
Of the little advice, the police could give, especially when considering just how difficult it is to avoid being hijacked, using your common sense comes out on top. If your gut tells you something is off, trust it. You should also try to not travel on your own.
Don’t arrive home in the dark and use gate automation to make sure that you don’t have to leave your vehicle.