File photo: African News Agency (ANA)

Durban - A Durban security company has warned motorists to be on high alert following a spike in hijacking across the city and a scary new trend of hijackers attempting to abduct the drivers in the hope of finding the vehicle's tracking device.

Blue Security operations director Brian Jackson said the company had received reports of five hijackings and two attempted hijackings across Durban over the past week alone.

“When considered as an average that is at least one hijacking being reported to our company every day, and this excludes any additional incidents that we don’t hear of, which may be reported to other local security firms and directly to the police,” Jackson said. “What has most concerned us about this latest wave of hijackings in the city, is that a trend has emerged in which hijackers are now attempting to abduct motorists in their vehicles.”

Jackson said in at least two of the recent incidents, hijackers had succeeded in abducting their victims, and in a further two cases, suspects had attempted to take motorists with them, but the victims had managed to resist them.

Jackson believes a contributing factor to the recent increase in hijackings could be due to the advancement of technology, where a coded or fob key is needed to operate a vehicle, which makes the crime somewhat easier with jamming devices.

But why abduct the motorist?

Jackson said one of the possible reasons hijackers were attempting to abduct their victims could be because they believed that motorists would have information about their vehicle’s tracking device.

“Hijackers mistakenly assume that motorists must be aware of the location of the tracking device installed by vehicle tracking companies. They take the motorist with them in the hope that they will be able to get the location of the device out of them. The reality is that most motorists should have no idea where the vehicle’s tracking device was installed and will not be able to tell hijackers anything.”

“Another reason hijackers abduct their victims is because they hope to stop at an ATM and use their bank PIN to rob them of cash in their bank accounts. Fortunately, while the abduction ordeal is extremely traumatic for victims, in most cases the suspects do eventually drop off their victims unharmed,” Jackson said.

When is this most likely to happen, and how do you prevent it?

Jackson said most of the hijackings occurred in residential driveways or outside a property between 7pm and 9.30pm when people were arriving home, while one of the incidents occurred in the early hours of the morning and at 7am.

The police had not responded to questions at the time of publishing.

Daily News