Every few minutes a motorist is hijacked or a vehicle is stolen in South Africa. Unfortunately, this is a reality that we need to be aware of in our daily lives. Take note that hijackers can target you in a number of ways, even if your car isn’t a high-risk vehicle.
Here is some of the top hijacking trends that you need to be aware of right now:
Hijackers often target motorists filling up with fuel at fuel stations. They approach the driver from his or her blind spot and force them out of the vehicle. It’s difficult for onlookers / petrol attendants to intervene as many hijackers are armed.
Strangers at social gatherings / events
Strangers who befriend them, who later spike their drinks, and then steal their keys and make off with the vehicle, approach vehicle owners at social gatherings / events.
Hijackers who pose as fake officers or police officials, who drive in unmarked vehicles often get motorists to pull over, and once the driver is overpowered the vehicle is hijacked.
Hijackers follow people home, “box” their vehicle in their driveway, and then hijack them. Often, hijackers will wait for the owner to enter the property first then block the security gate from closing.
Keep the following in mind to avoid becoming a victim:
- Park in a safe area, with good lighting and preferably a security guard on duty.
- Only unlock your vehicle when you are close to it. Keep you car keys out of sight until you are ready to open it.
- Store all valuables, handbags, etc. out of sight – preferably in the boot.
- Always drive with your doors locked and windows closed.
- Be aware of your surroundings and watch your mirrors for any suspicious vehicles or pedestrians. Be vigilant and avoid distractions.
- Slow down when approaching a red robot late at night, so it’s green by the time you reach the intersection.
- Keep a safe following distance from the vehicle in front of you and always allow yourself enough space to manoeuvre in case you need to make a quick getaway.
- Don’t turn into your driveway if you believe you are being followed. If you are being followed, drive straight to your nearest police station.
According to CTrack statistics the top 10 most hijacked passenger vehicle brands are (in order):
The top ten most hijacked SUV brands are (in order):
Suzuki Auto South Africa