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We live in a country where people are being hijacked on a daily basis. Approximately 45 cars are hijacked a day in South Africa. The majority of hijackings occur on a Friday as this is the day that motorists are most likely to be relaxed. Hijackings are low in the evening and early hours of the morning, and start increasing at 06h00 due to motorists leaving home for work, which then stabilizes during the course of the day. Below you will find tips on how to avoid becoming a hijack victim.
What to do?
- Be vigilant, don’t talk on your phone while getting out/in/items out of your vehicle. Make sure you look around; it shows thieves you are aware of your surroundings.
- Checks your locks. Thieves use technology such as remote jamming without you even realizing.
- Never keep items where they can easily be spotted. No matter how silly they may seem. Thieves will steal anything.
- If you do need to leave items in your vehicle, leave them in the trunk (with the cover kept closed if you drive a hatchback vehicle).
- Never place items in the trunk at your destination, thieves may be watching you. Rather place the items in the trunk before you leave.
- If you do need to get something from the trunk, do it quickly as fast as possible, whilst being aware of who is around you and who is watching.
- Avoid leaving your vehicle unlocked for any longer than necessary. Lock as soon as you are inside, then put away anything you don’t want to keep in the trunk. Make a habit of locking your vehicle before driving off anywhere.
- Never leave items on the seats. Even if you are driving, it is very easy to smash and grab something from there rather than tucked away under the seat. For the ladies: Do not leave your handbags in the open.
- Do not leave your vehicle in dark, unlit areas
- When driving alone on a quiet road at night, be very vigilant. Unless necessary, try not to stop at red lights (slow down and make sure to check if it is safe but not for too long if you can avoid it)
- If you are using your mobile GPS and you feel unsafe, turn up the volume and tuck between your legs (easy to hear and out of sight)
- Avoid leaving windows open even if you are in the vehicle, it is very easy to grab something and run.
If you suspect you are being followed
- Make sure your vehicle always has enough fuel in it.
- If you suspect you are being followed make a few turns in the same direction (go in a circle around a block) to make sure;
- Or drive to the nearest police station.
- Do not turn into your driveway or into s road that has a dead end.
Recommended to do for your safety
- Whether the thieves have a weapon or not, it is better to comply as you do not know how far they are willing to go or do;
- Get more assistance/ attention if you can; and
- Be vigilant and safe.
Read our previous blog about vehicle theft to know what you can do to limit the chances of it happening to you.
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