Red Flag: Be Alert
A red flag and a few highlights on South African crime stats.
1. The most hijacked cars and hijacking hotspots in South Africa
According to C-Track’s latest hijacking and theft report, the most-hijacked vehicles in South Africa are:
- VW Polo – passenger vehicle
- Toyota Fortuner – SUV
- Ford – The third most-targeted manufacturer
The top five hijacking hotspots in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, and the Western Cape are:
- Gauteng: Honeydew, Booysens, Roodepoort, Linden, Brooklyn
- KwaZulu-Natal: Berea, Durban Central, Phoenix, Umbilo, Chatsworth
- Western Cape: Bellville, Cape Town, Mitchells Plain, Parow, Woodstock
2. Anti-hijacking tips, courtesy of News24
- Always leave your window approximately 5cm open – if the window is totally closed, it is easier for them to break!
- Don’t race to the robot if it is red – glide to the red robot, so that there is only a short time until the robot turns green.
- Be very aware when going under bridges. Latest tactics involve stones being dropped onto your windscreen, forcing you to stop.
- If a gun is put to your window – put both hands up facing him – always allow him to see your hands or he will think you are looking around for a gun.
- If you have a child, always put their car seat behind the driver’s seat so that it is easier to get him/her out the car (instead of having to lean over and take him/her out of the passenger side or walk around the car to get them out).
- When driving up to your house, never park in your driveway facing the gate as criminals can park behind you and park you in. Always stop in the road until the gate is open before you turn into your driveway. That way, should anything look suspicious, you can drive off.
- Remember to be aware of your surroundings at all times!
3. Follow home incidents remain high
Residents are urged to be vigilant when returning home, particularly from shopping centres.
The “follow home” crime syndicates are well-organised gangs. There is a spotter tasked with identifying a suitable victim in the mall, at the airport, or at the bank. This person is in contact with the rest of the gang who will be waiting outside in a car. This vehicle then pursues the victim, and robs them when they are in their drive way at home.
The following advice is given to residents to avoid falling victim to a follow home incident:
- Avoid displaying cash or large amounts of jewellery when out shopping, especially when travelling without another adult companion.
- Ladies on their own or with their children are often targeted by these syndicates operating at malls.
- Double-check that your vehicle is locked when parking at the mall.
- Report any suspicious lone persons on foot to mall security.
- Be aware of people watching you when pushing your trolley towards the car and packing your shopping into the car.
- Be vigilant when leaving a shopping centre, airport or bank.
- Before leaving the mall, ensure that the remote for your driveway and garage are with you and not in your boot or anywhere else beyond arm’s reach whilst you’re in the driver’s seat.
- When driving, make use of your mirrors to take a mental note of vehicles which have followed you for extended periods of time, particularly when driving from malls. If the vehicle is still behind you when you near your driveway, do not stop or slow down. Instead, go around the block and proceed to the nearest police station, or any other place of safety.
- Do not use you mobile phone while driving . This will distract you from warning signs of a follow-home robbery.
If you suspect you are being followed, immediately proceed to the nearest police station. If you are already within the MX40 enclosure and suspect you are being followed, circle through the suburb and call CSS Tactical (011 577 1200).
- Do not go to your home.
- Do not stop your vehicle.
- Do not go down the Springhill or Bauhinia cul-de-sacs.
- If the vehicle continues to follow you, make your way to the Sandton Police Station at the corner of Rivonia & Summit Roads, with the entrance to the police station in Summit Rd, opposite the Caltex garage. Please familiarise yourself with the location of this police station.
- DO NOT STOP in your driveway if you suspect that you are being followed.
- Always check your rear view mirror when coming through the MX40 booms, and when you turn into your street.
- You are welcome to make use of the Beagle Watch / CSS Tactical “meet & greet” service – just call the control room 10 – 15 minutes before getting home, and the patrol car will meet you at your gate.