We have all at some time received emails alerting us to various tactics used by either hijackers or smash-and grab thieves! These include paint or other liquids sprayed across the windscreen, stones placed on the road surface etc…Sometimes, unfortunately these also include some urban legends…
Yesterday the police alerted the public to a new modus operandi after 2 hijackings in Gauteng. In one of these incidents the driver stopped to assist a person who appeared to be injured and lying sprawled on the road. Drivers have been urged to be extremely vigilant when driving at night and not to stop for roadside obstructions they are able to avoid!
The topic of hijacking is a topic to be discussed in several blog posts. We would however for now like to alert all vehicle owners to some of the information from the Arrive Alive website:
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).
What do we need to know when approaching our vehicles and whilst driving?
- Have your key ready, but not visible.
- Inspect the outside and inside of the vehicle before unlocking. (Tyre, tyre, number plate, other side of the vehicle).
- Know your destination and directions to it; and be alert should you get lost.
- Always drive with your windows closed and doors locked.
- Make a mental note of any Police Stations in the vicinity.
- When stopping behind another vehicle, leave half a vehicle length in front of your vehicle to make an emergency escape if necessary.
- When dropping off a passenger, make sure they are safely in their own vehicle before departing.
- Avoid driving through high crime or unfamiliar areas.
- Avoid driving late at night / early hours of the morning when the roads are quiet.
- Drive in the centre lane away from pedestrians where possible.
- If possible, never drive alone.
- NEVER, EVER pick up hitchhikers or strangers. (VERY IMPORTANT)
- Never follow routine routes when driving; change on a regular basis.
To these we can now also add the warning not to stop to remove objects from the road surface or to render assistance to people. It is unfortunate that we should sometimes refrain from rendering a helping hand of assistance – but your safety comes FIRST!!
We would like to urge our vehicle owners to attend anti-hijacking and survival courses if possible – or to acquaint themselves with the following information: