Hijacking in SA – Top 3 Most Wanted Vehicles
Unfortunately, with the high unemployment rate of approximately 14% in South Africa and a number of cars that have advanced security measures installed, hijackings seem to be on the rise. It’s important to remember that, unlike some opportune crimes, hijacking is an organised operation where certain car models are ordered beforehand, leaving the hijacker to target specific cars that fall into those criteria. The well-established syndicates will then purchase the vehicles from the hijacker. Vehicles that are not sold within South Africa will be sent over the border to neighbouring countries for reselling purposes or in exchange for illegal substances/drugs.
Chances are, you have either fallen victim to a hijacking in South Africa or you know of someone who has been hijacked. If you’re one of the lucky ones in South Africa who may have only heard about it in the media or through word of mouth, it’s important to find out whether you own one of the three most wanted cars in terms of hijackings.
Vehicle tracking and recovery experts, C-track (closely working together with Arrive Alive) recently released valuable data on the three most targeted vehicles in South Africa, as well as where most hijackings tend to occur; in the hopes of keeping South Africans safe and more aware of their surroundings.
- VW Polo – the most hijacked passenger vehicle in South Africa.
- Toyota Fortuner – the most hijacked SUV in South Africa.
- Ford – the most targeted manufacturer in South Africa; closely followed by Land Rover and Nissan.
“Data such as this from C-track and the other vehicle recovery companies dealing with these crimes daily offers further insights to where and when these crimes are committed. Our roads will be safer when we all drive with an increased safety awareness,” according to Johan Jonck, editor of Arrive Alive.
Top three most hijacked provinces:
- Western Cape:
- Cape Town
- Mitchells Plain
- Durban Central
According to the SAPS, a total of 14 602 car hijackings were recorded between 2015-2016; a 14,2% increase from the previous year. Thus, it’s important as a motorist, to familiarise yourself with preventative measures on becoming a victim of yet another senseless hijacking. According to Arrive Alive, this is what you should do to prevent a hijacking in South Africa whilst entering your vehicle or when in transit:
- Have your car keys ready to go, but not visible to anyone.
- If possible, inspect the outside of your car as well as underneath (checking to see if someone left anything underneath your wheels which could prevent you from driving off).
- Have a quick glance to see if someone is occupying your passenger seat before entering your vehicle.
- If you’re unfamiliar with your destination, figure out beforehand where it is that you’re going and what to do in the event that you get lost.
- Unfortunately, it’s recommended that you always drive with your windows up and your doors locked. Some vehicles have an automatic door lock system so you don’t have to remember not to forget to do it yourself.
- Know exactly where the nearest police station is located.
- When parked behind a vehicle in traffic, allow for enough distance between your car and the one in front of you in order to be able to drive away if you see suspicious activity.
- Ensure that, if you drop someone off at their vehicle, that they’re safely in their own vehicle before driving off.
- If at all possible, avoid driving through high-crime areas or areas that you’re unfamiliar with.
- Choose the middle lane when driving; making it more difficult for hijackers to target you.
- Avoid picking up hitchhikers.
- As a woman, never drive alone; especially at night.
- If you suspect someone is keeping a close eye on you, change your driving routes up. They won’t know when you’ll be home or which way you’ll end up going.
Remember, when approaching your driveway, to always be vigilant by switching off your car radio in order to concentrate fully on your surroundings. Select reverse when waiting for the gate to close; causing confusion to any possible hijackers and giving you extra time to react in the event that you do fall victim to an attempted hijacking.
As South Africa loses R8.5-billion to vehicle theft and hijacking, it’s important to always ensure that you comply with your car insurance policy regulations by adding additional security methods such as car alarms and vehicle tracking systems.