Cape Town – Security organisations worldwide recognise that the faster the details of a hijacked or stolen vehicle can be circulated, the better your chances of getting it back.
Trouble is, the police – whether SAPS or Metro cops – don’t have the resources to act as a clearing house for such enormous volumes of data.
When my Kawasaki KR250 was stolen some years ago I reported it immediately to the SAPS – and told all my biker buddies what had happened. They helped me track it down in less than three days – but when I went to the local police station to tell them where it was and who had it, I had to do a lot of please explaining because the bike wasn’t on the stolen list yet.
According to statistics, South Africa loses more than R8.5 billion to vehicle theft and hijacking each year. Of those vehicles stolen, more than half are taken across the border, one-third filter back into the South African vehicle park with cloned registrations – and the rest wind up in chop shops.
There had to be a faster way, reasoned Ryno Schutte of Bloubergrant, to alert every security company in South Africa with full details of stolen or hijacked vehicles – in effect, a digital ‘stolen list’. But it would still take time, and human intervention, to input each stolen or hijacked vehicle, time in which the bad guys could make their getaway.
So he turned the problem inside out by creating Pro-Active, an intelligence-sharing database that uses a website to circulate details of stolen or hijacked vehicles. All you have to do if your vehicle gets stolen or hijacked, he says, is to report it using the Pro-Active app, and its details will be sent to 137 security service providers and enforcers across South Africa – in seven seconds flat!
That’s because your details are already in the database, thanks to a subscription membership that costs you R37 a month, or R380 a year.
If you’re reporting from your PC, it’ll tell them your car was taken from your home address; if you’re using a tablet or smartphone, it will circulate the GPS coordinates for where the device is at the time.
That’s important, says Schutte, because a lot of vehicles are hijacked or stolen to be used in other crimes such as armed robberies and home invasions; if their details get out there quickly enough, it’s possible the perpetrators could be spotted and apprehended before the second crime is even committed.
To find out more, call Ryno Schutte on 082 740 0663 or visit www.pro-activesa.co.za.