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Over 70% of hijackings take place in home driveways

By: Natasha Archary

70% of hijackings
Image: Adobe Stock

Over 70% of hijackings in South Africa take place in home driveways.

This according to the latest statistics by Crime SA, which reveals an estimated 71% of hijackings happed in residential driveways.

Executive Head: Claims and Procurement at MiWay Insurance, Youlon Naidoo said of all the methods criminals use, the most common place they target drivers is still right residential driveways.

“You may consider your home a ‘safe place’, but it has become the most targeted. In addition, according to recently released statistics an estimated 71% of South African car hijackings occur in residential driveways. Our internal data further reveals that most hijackings take place within a 5km radius, mainly between 18h00 and 21h00, and they (hijackings) rarely occur in the morning.”

With the festive season fast approaching, Naidoo says this is the busiest time of the year for both syndicates and opportunistic criminals.

Naidoo urges motorists to raise self-awareness and become more vigilant during this time, especially because hijackers continue to adopt new deceptive tactics to target victims.

Hijackers target drivers late at night when vehicles are parked outside a property, as car owners enter or exit their gates.

At night, criminals target victims at their homes, and often will follow a driver for a while before they make a move on their vehicle.

Most incidents are pre-planned, with hijackers noting their target’s daily travel routes, and habits.

Watching how long someone takes to open their gate, park their car, close their gate, are some of the factors hijackers take note of.

Here are some of the safety tips from Naidoo to help South African motorists be extra vigilant when arriving home:

Make sure no one is following you when driving home

Hijackers are constantly attempting new tactics, so car owners also need to be smarter and stay a step ahead by being constantly aware of their surroundings.

Whether leaving the shopping mall or the airport – both being commonly targeted areas – keep an eye on your rearview mirror to ensure that no one is tracking your route. Regardless of the make, model or the colour of the vehicle, always stay vigilant.

Alternate your route home

Changing your daily route from your original route when heading home may be wise.

Attackers are more likely to learn your travel patterns and follow you home when using the exact same route daily.

Know your nearest police station

If it looks as though you are being followed or should you feel uncomfortable, do not drive home, instead head to your nearest police station.

Having an escape route planned will help to distract criminals and alert them that you have spotted their unusual actions.

Times are erratic during this season 

Our movements and behaviors change from our usual routines over the festive season. Whatever the time, when arriving home, do not open your gate and pull into your driveway if there is a car behind you.

Instead drive around the block to see if you can lose the car, or stop parallel to your gate, which will allow you to make a quick getaway should the trailing vehicle slow down.

Always make sure that you always observe your full surroundings look forward, backwards and sideways.

Insurance cover is critical to recover from a hijacking

Naidoo shares that an estimate 65% to 70% of the almost 12 million vehicles are uninsured.

“Insurance is there to help place you back in the position that you were in before an unfortunate event occurred. To help minimise the financial fall-out from such incidents, especially during what is supposed to be a family-focused and stress-free time of the year, make sure you are well covered against unforeseen acts of crime.”

Also read: Implats confirms death toll climbs to 12

Written by: Natasha


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