Carjacking is big business in South Africa. This disturbing trend is fueled by greed and run by organised syndicates.
As with all things crime-related, a keen understanding of the motives and methods behind the crimes allows us to reduce our risk.
Modus Operandi used by the hijackers:
- Most hijackings take place in the driveways of residential areas. These hijackers prefer areas with accessible escape routes.
- Hijackings take place while stationed at any traffic sign or intersection.
- Hijackings take place while stationary next to the road, e.g. to answer cell phone.
- Hijackings also occur at post offices and parking areas or you may be followed leaving the filling station with the objective to hijack your vehicle where it is quiet.
- The hijackers sometimes use a vehicle to force the victim off the road.
- Hijackings take place at schools when dropping off / picking up children.
- Hijackings take place while the vehicle is idling when off-loading / loading passengers.
- Hijackings take place when advertising your vehicle for sale (Test drive method).
- Bogus Police or Traffic Officers also conduct hijackings (Blue light scenario).
In the unfortunate event that you are the victim of a hijacking, this is what you need to do know:
Don’t fight back or argue.
74% of carjackings reported were committed with a weapon so you don’t want to antagonise anyone.
Maintain eye contact and keep your voice level to diffuse the situation. Make it clear at every opportunity that you are not resisting the carjacker’s wishes and will not fight.
Discourage them from going into your house.
A carjacker may want to kidnap you and take you back to your house, where they can use your keys to gain entry to your home and take whatever they want — and do whatever they want to you in the process.
Fight if you have to.
The only time to fight is if the criminal wants to kidnap you as well. Nothing good would come from a kidnapping. Protect yourself and fight for your life.
Keep your doors locked and your windows up whenever you’re behind the wheel. Constantly being aware of your surroundings, instead of being aware of what’s on your phone!