Crime is unfortunately one of the factors contributing to expensive car insurance premiums. The vehicle owners in the bigger towns and cities are often confronted with vehicle loss and damage from hijackings, theft and smash and grab crimes.
What is a smash and grab crime?
A smash and grab criminal turns a pleasant drive into a nightmare when pouncing on unsuspecting drivers. The criminal act is usually characterized by the stealing of handbags and other valuables by the opening of car doors or even breaking windows while the car is stationary at traffic lights or stuck in slow moving traffic.
We would like to reflect on the sudden invasion of privacy by smash and grab criminals. The violent smashing of the window at the passenger side places the motorist in a few moments of silent paralysis – just enough to get hold of the valuables and flee the scene!
How to reduce the risk of smash and grab crimes
Even though it is not always possible to avoid the so called “hotspots” where these criminals prey on unsuspecting motorists, it is possible to reduce the risk of becoming a smash and grab victim.
The SAPS has provided important suggestions on how the vehicle owner can protect him/ herself:
- Lock all your doors and close the windows when driving.
- Don’t have bags, cellular phones, briefcases or other valuables visible – This will attract thieves who may break your car window.
- Always remove radios, CD or cassette players if possible.
- Lock all valuables in the boot of your car or behind the seat if it is a bakkie.
- Be constantly on the lookout for suspicious looking characters.
- When approaching a traffic light at night, slow down so you can catch the light when it is green and be wary of people standing at intersections – They may be innocent but perpetrators mix with these people while waiting for an opportunity to pounce.
- Never open vehicle windows or doors for strangers.
- If you encounter obstacles such as rocks or tyres do not get out of your vehicle to remove them -immediately reverse and drive off in the opposite direction.
- May these suggestions contribute to the safety of all South Africans on the roads.
- Thieves target car parks. Always park your car in attended parking lots.
- When parking at night ensure that you always park in a well-lit area.
- Never sit in your vehicle without being conscious of your surroundings.
- Sleeping in a stationary vehicle is particularly dangerous.
- Never leave children alone in a vehicle, not even for a moment. Let them accompany you.
Also view for more information on crime and car insurance: