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Hijacking hotspots in Gauteng

Fidelity SecureDrive has revealed that there has been an increase in car-related crimes and hijackings across South Africa, reported BusinessTech.

Between April 2021 and May 2022, the provinces of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal recorded 231 and 183 incidents of hijackings, respectively.

Durban, Johannesburg, and Pretoria reported the most incidents per day compared to other main metros, with these usually taking place between 06h00-09h00 in the mornings and again from 18h00-24h00 at night.

Most hijackings take place on Thursday and Friday, said Fidelity, with an increasing number of hijackings being committed by fake police officials.

These criminal groups of between two and five perpetrators dress in traffic police uniforms and use blue lights on the dashboards of their vehicles, leading motorists to believe they are legitimate police officers.

Victims are then held up against their will and oftentimes dropped off in various areas around the province.

According to the South African Police Service (SAPS), the following areas have been marked as hotspots for these crimes:

  • Bekkersdal – R28 road and N12
  • Carletonville – Blybank road and Randfontein road
  • Fochville – Corner N12 and R500
  • Randfontein – R559, R28, and N14

The SAPS said that a white Toyota Hilux and/or a white VW Polo are typically used to hold up the victims, and that motorists should be on the lookout for these cars

The perpetrators are also believed to be using a white Ford Ranger, a grey Nissan Almera, a grey Nissan Navara, and blue, white, and silver Toyota Corollas.

Randburg Police Station Commander Michelle Jones noted that other common sites for these hijackings are intersections along Malibongwe street, the N1, both on and off-ramps, as well as the William Nicol on and off-ramp, including the stretch of N1 North and South between Malibongwe and William Nicol roads.

If motorists suspect that they are being pulled over by fake police officers, they should continue to drive to the nearest police station, shopping mall, or busy area before stopping, said Fidelity.

Cars being targeted

Fidelity said the VW Polo, Toyota Hilux, Nissan NP200, and Toyota Quantum are the most-targeted vehicles by these criminal syndicates.

White vehicles were the main targets followed by silver-grey vehicles, with 48.9% and 18.9% of incidents involving cars of these colours, respectively.

If you suspect that you are being followed by someone who will try to hijack you, Fidelity recommends doing the following:

  • Make sure you can see the back of the wheels of the car in front of you when stopping in traffic to leave enough room to escape.
  • If you must open your gate manually, leave the vehicle running with the key inside. However, if there is a child in the car, rather remove the key as criminals will likely allow you to take your child out of the vehicle in turn for giving them the key.
  • Always remain vigilant even when inside of a complex with security guards, you can easily be followed inside.
  • Do not stop at a deserted area to talk on your phone or relieve yourself.
  • Keep your windows closed at all times.
  • If someone tries to force you out of the road, blow your horn repeatedly to draw attention to yourself.
  • Do not stop for hitchhikers under any circumstances.

“The West-Rand police would like to urge motorists or truck drivers to be more cautious and not be fooled by people dressed in police or traffic uniform,” said the SAPS.

“Residents are also encouraged to provide any information that can lead to the successful arrest of perpetrators behind hijackings in and around the district, the members of the public are urged to call.”

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