File photo: Gary Van Wyk / Independent Media.
File photo: Gary Van Wyk / Independent Media.

Hijacking insights: Hotspots revealed, hostage taking on the rise

By Motoring Staff Time of article published Aug 19, 2019

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Johannesburg - Tracker’s latest vehicle crime stats provide some valuable insights into the most dangerous areas to drive in as well as the time and days of the week that hijackings and thefts occur most frequently.

According to the vehicle tracking company, the Gauteng suburbs most affected by hijackings are Kensington, Arcadia and Eldorado Park, while the vehicle theft hotspots are the Pretoria CBD, Arcadia and Sunnyside

In the Western Cape, Philippi, Khayelitsha and Maitland emerged as the highest risk areas for hijacking, while Philippi, Claremont and Dunoon topped the list for regular vehicle thefts.

Kwa-Zulu Natal was also surveyed, with Sydenham, Imbali and Avoca Hills recording the most hijacking activations, while theft was mostly reported in Glenwood, Morningside and Musgrave. 

Roads and intersections most targeted

Of course, there are also many roads and intersections outside of the aforementioned suburbs where hijackings are known to occur. In late 2016, the National Hijack Prevention Academy released a list of the most targeted roads and intersections in the four main cities.

This is a relatively long list, which you can view here or on the interactive map below.

An increase in hostage taking

Yet the most alarming stat released in this year’s survey shows that there has been an increase in hostage taking during hijackings - these kidnappings having taken place in 29 percent of Tracker’s recorded activations.  

A number of sly methods are employed in the commission of vehicle crimes these days, including hijackers impersonating police, the spiking of drinks in order to take advantage of unsuspecting victims and vehicle theft using online selling platforms, where sellers hand over goods on receipt of a fake payment.

Hijackings most common on Fridays

Tracker’s data also showed that most hijacking activations took place on a Friday between 11h00 and 13h00, followed by 20h00 to 23h00.

Thefts, meanwhile, were most likely to occur on a Saturday between 12h00 and 14h00.  

Importance of staying alert

“Many people go about their regular driving activity on auto-pilot without much awareness or consideration for what is going on around them,” said Tracker executive Ron Knott-Craig.

“Criminals recognise and take advantage of this complacency. To avoid being an easy target, we need to stay alert and be vigilant. Avoid distractions while driving and pay attention to your surroundings. Don’t believe it could never happen to you.”

IOL Motoring

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