Hijacking: Numberplate method… Be warned guys and gals

According to some sources, there’s a new hijacking trend going around South Africa… The hijackers will follow their victims to areas with designated parking bays such as shopping malls or centers. After parking your vehicle, the hijackers will remove your license plate and wait for you to drive off. They will then follow you and show your license plate through their window and pretend that they want to give it back to you. You as the driver will appear shocked and confused and stop the car to retrieve your plate. Before you know it they will hijack you, or commit other offences. Please think before you act it uncertain circumstances. Criminals are smart and can portray themselves as anything.

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When am I most vulnerable for being Hijacked

At traffic lights 7%
At a stop street 6%
At other intersections 1%
In front of private residences 51%
At business premises 5%
At shops, post offices, telephone booths, etc 3%
At filling stations 1%
Victims sitting in parked cars 10%
Victims forced off road by decoys 4%
Victims parking, i.e. Either starting cars or leaving/approaching parked cars 2%
Victims stationery and working at the roadside, i.e. repairing telephone cables 2%
While loading and offloading goods 2%
By hitch-hikers 1%
While taxis are loading/offloading passengers 4%
Unknown 1%
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Hijack Hotspots

Taken from the police, here are the Hijacking hotspots for Johannesburg and Pretoria. If you have any hotspots you would like to share with us, feel free it leave a comment on our blog and we will process this.

Johannesburg:

  1. The William Nicol Drive offramp from the N1 from the Sandton side.
  2. The corner of Old Pretoria Road and 1st Avenue in Alexandra.
  3. New Road offramp in Midrand.
  4. Riviera Road offramp near Killarney Mall.
  5. Intersection of Christiaan de Wet Road and Wilgerood Road in Roodepoort.
  6. All the traffic lights along Louis Botha Avenue between Alexandra and Hillbrow.
  7. Parkwood and Saxonwold (Rosebank precinct).
  8. Upper Houghton and Killarney (Hillbrow precinct).
  9. Between 10th and 11th avenues and 4th and 7th avenues in Parkhurst (Parkview precinct).
  10. Glenhazel, Lombardy East and Sandringham (Sandringham precinct).
  11. Orange Grove and Highlands North (Norwood precinct).
  12. Yeoville, Bellevue and Bellevue East (Yeoville precinct).
  13. Wynberg, Bramley, Marlboro and Kew (Bramley precinct).

Pretoria:

  1. The Atterbury Road offramp from the N1 in Menlyn.
  2. Lynnwood Road offramp on the N1.
  3. John Vorster Drive offramp from the N1 in Lyttelton.
  4. Jean Avenue offramp from the R28 in Centurion.
  5. Rigel Avenue offramp from the N1 in Erasmuskloof.
  6. Corner of University Road and Lynnwood Road in Hatfield.
  7. The traffic lights along Walker Street in Sunnyside.
  8. The Lynnwood Road and Hans Strijdom Drive intersection in Garsfontein.
  9. The traffic lights along Nelson Mandela Drive in Sunnyside.
  10. The traffic lights along Simon Vermooten Road in Silverton.
  11. Along Beyers Naude Drive and Paul Kruger Street in Wonderboompoort.
  12. Nelson Mandela Drive, Duncan Street and Walker Street in Sunnyside.
  13. The R55 in Erasmia.
  14. Burnett Street, Hilda Street and the Atterbury Road offramp in the Brooklyn area.
  15. Delfi Avenue and Garsfontein Road in Garsfontein.
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Top Stolen Cars in South Africa

I’m sure the list has not changed much according to contacts in the Insurance company industry as well as the South Africa police department. This list is for 2008. This can be used as guidelines when purchasing a new car. Before viewing the list, read the following…

The following factors will determine how much chance your car has of getting stolen / hijacked:

1. How popular the vehicle is therefore the greater needs for parts. Criminals like to get rid of the parts ASAP.
2. How easy it is to steal the car. A garage attendant showed me how to start a Toyota with a screwdriver.
3. How flashy is the vehicle. Convertibles attract attention easily hence less likely to be stolen.
4. Flashy is not always good. If you have a nice set of rims / mags the criminal can sell them quick.
5. Can the vehicle be used for taxi parts therefore a great need for parts!
6. Older vehicles are stolen also because the criminal suspects you do not have a tracking device.
7. Do you have a gear / steering lock? The criminal will rather pick yours instead of your neighbors without one.

Car Model Stolen
TOYOTA HIACE 1119
NISSAN 1400 507
TOYOTA HILUX 497
TOYOTA VENTURE 270
TOYOTA COROLLA 209
NISSAN HARDBODY 141
MITS COLT 125
ISUZU KB280 122
ISUZU KB250 114
VW CITI GOLF 103
TOYOTA CONQUEST 88
BMW 318 77
VW CHICO GOLF 75
TOYOTA STALLION 69
VW MICROBUS 67
FORD COURIER 65
AUDI A4 62
NISSAN 1 TON 61
TOYOTA DYNA 60
VW POLO CLASSIC 59
BMW 320i 58
FORD RANGER 57
TOYOTA TAZZ 55
TOYOTA HINO 53
MITS L300 52
FORD BANTAM 51
TOYOTA CONDOR 45
MAZDA DRIFTER 43
MERC C200 43
JEEP CHEROKEE 42
NISSAN SENTRA 41
MAZDA 323 40
TOYOTA RUNX 37
MAN 35
VW CARAVELLE 33
VW POLO PLAYER 33
MERC SPRINTER 32
TOYOTA LANDCRUISER 32
VW GOLF Gti 32
BMW 325i 30
ISUZU KB200 29
OPEL ASTRA 29
HYUNDAI BAKKIE 28
MERC C230 28
TOYOTA CRESSIDA 28
HONDA BALLADE 27
MERC C180 26
BMW X5 24
FIAT UNO 24
TOYOTA SIYAYA 2l 24
INTERNATIONAL EAGLE 23
MAZDA RUSTLER 23
MERC ACTROS 22
OPEL CORSA UTILITY 22
MAZDA MARATHON 21
ISUZU KB300 20
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Hijacking Tips (Prevention, During, and After)

Preventing a Hi-jacking Situation

• Ensure that all your vehicle’s doors are locked and windows closed. Leave your window a little open for air.
• Get to know your environment, as well as who belongs in the vicinity of your home or workplace and take note of strangers. If you see a stranger walking around with or without uniform at odd times, be careful and rather inform your security company.
• Be aware of anything out of the ordinary
• Hijackers plan their attack most of the time. So be sure to change your route from time to time. For example in the morning, take a similar route to the evening when you come back from work.
• Ensure that your mirrors are adjusted to provide you with optimal all round view of your immediate surroundings
• Attempt to stop at least five meters behind the vehicle in front of you at an intersection with a stop sign or traffic light. This provides you with a better opportunity to escape in a crisis
• At the robot, drive slowly if red so that it will become green by the time you get to a stop preventing the need of stopping your vehicle.
• Try not to be first in line at the Robot. 90% of the time, the front car gets hi-jacked.
• Make sure if possible you stay with the other cars so that when you get to a stop, you are less likely going to get hi-jacked. 95% of all hijackings at robots occur when you are the only vehicle.
• If a stranger approaches you, push your hooter to attract as much attention as possible.
• Always be on the lookout for suspicious looking vehicles and people. Do not hesitate to report them to the police.
• Know your routes and closest way to the police station. If you are being followed, drive to the nearest police station.
• If you are suspicious of or feel unsure about any person or vehicle in high-risk areas, take appropriate action, for example ignore a red robot (provided that this is safe) and speed away from the perceived danger area.
• Relax and focus on not stalling your car when a stranger approaches.
• In some instances accidents are staged, for example where your car is bumped from behind. If you do not feel comfortable about the individuals involved in the situation, drive to the nearest police station for help
• If your electric gates are jammed, rather phone the SAPS or your security company for assistance. Criminals love to jam your gates with industrial strength cable ties to jam your gate. You get out the car, stop or lose concentration, you can kiss your car goodbye.
• Ensure that you have your ignition key ready without making it visible, when getting into your car.
• Always drive with your windows closed and doors locked
• Ensure that passengers you have dropped off are safely inside the next vehicle or premises before departing
• Avoid driving through high crime or unfamiliar areas
• Avoid driving late at night or early in the morning when possible
• Never drive alone, if possible. 48% of hijackings are directed at drivers with no passengers
• Never pick up hitchhikers
• When returning home after dark, ensure that you stop in a well-lit area or have someone meet you outside, and ensure that you were not followed
• When exiting your vehicle, be cautious and aware of surrounding obstructions, particularly shrubbery that may be concealing a possible attacker
• Never sit in your parked car without being conscious of your surroundings. When fetching your kids from school, make sure there is always security around and make sure you don’t wait much.
• Never sleep in a stationary vehicle in an unsafe or unknown area, find a police station if this is really necessary
• When approaching your driveway, be on the lookout for suspicious vehicles or people

How to respond if being Hi-jacked

• Remain calm and remember that the preservation of human life must take precedence over retaining material assets
• Never initiate any movement but rather wait for an instruction from the hijackers and co-operate; be honest! The hijacker is more likely to become violent if he suspects that you have lied to him
• Do not do anything that is going to alarm the hijackers. They are also nervous and this makes them more dangerous
• Do not motion with your hands. Rather tell them where they can find requested items
• Keep your hands clearly visible at all times
• If you have a baby in the car tell the hijackers and ask them if they can fetch the child. Do not move towards the car without their explicit directive
• Look at the faces (if possible without making it obvious), clothing, type of firearms, type of cigarettes, if they smoke, type of cellphones, vehicles they used and registration numbers, etc. and try to memorise it if possible
• If they kidnap you, co-operate with them fully
• Listen to their conversations and listen for names used
• Try to memorise the route that was taken even if you are blindfolded
• If kept hostage, try to mark the place for later identification
• Make sure you have a tracking device with a hidden panic button that is easily reached, for example around the steering wheel or by the gearstick or handbrake. As long as these panic buttons are not labeled, you should be alright. Even voice recognition panic signals are excellent.
• You can have your own personal tracking device / panic button.
• The trick is to anticipate the attack and then to act very quickly and calmly so that the criminals do not suspect you.
• Do not attempt to jump out of the car especially while moving. You will be killed either by the momentum or by the criminals.
• If somebody hi-jacks you with the car, they might be interested in your jewelry, your cell-phone clothes, ATM withdrawal or even your body. Prevention is always better than cure. If the hi-jacker is after your shopping cards such as Mr. Price, Woolworths and others, it might be fatal so that you will not be able to cancel your shopping store cards.
• Once you have been hi-jacked and if taken along for the ride, your chances of survival are approximately 70% if you follow all of the instructions given to you. If you are asked to get out of the car and not come along for the ride, doing as they say will give you about 80% chance for survival according to statistics. Not all criminals wish to have a murder charge on their hands or are willing to live with the conscience of living with themselves after murdering somebody in cold blood. However, please treat any situation as a dangerous one.

What to do after the hi-jacking

• When the criminals tell you to leave the car or whatever they tell you to do, needs to be done 100%. Do as you are told. No funny hand movements. Look away from the criminals. As little contact as possible.
• Remember your surroundings if possible from the trip.
• Stop the nearest vehicle for urgent help
• Run to the nearest phone and call the police
• Do not leave the situation alone and make sure you get a case number. You could be saving other people’s lives and / or from going through the same situation.
• Put up adverts of your stolen car with detailed pictures all over the internet forums, try get it into the local newspaper (if possible. Let all your friends know of where your car was stolen.

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How many LCD / Plasma TVs / Other appliances get stolen

After having a hunch, we decided to investigate this matter. We approached 250+ clients whose LCD televisions were stolen recently. Over 80% of these stolen LCD TVs were delivered by the company to the customers house. In most cases exactly where the LCD TVs get stolen, the window is broken and nobody else knows about these TVs. Most of the time the house is locked and not even the garden boy knew about the TV / could see it as well as the domestic did not know about it over a weekend or there was no domestic worker at the premises.

So what does this tell us…

The appliance stores delivery guys are advertising your television and other appliances to their criminal friends or even stealing the appliances themselves. Even in 2 cases, the criminals were identified as staff members of the appliance store. These criminals could also be friends or family members of the store members.These criminals actually work for big retailers which we cannot mention for obvious reasons.

Bottom Line:

Do not have your appliances delivered to your residence. Rather have a friend help you out with his / her bakkie or truck.

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