Hijacking tactics to be on the lookout for

Stock image.

Hijacking is one of the scariest possibilities every time you climb into your car, and KZN has the second highest incidence of hijackings in the country, right behind Gauteng.

This is according to the SAPS 2016/17 Victims of Crime Survey. 

The survey showed  that between 2016 and 2017, 30 664 people were the victims of hijackings, representing a 14% increase.

According to Umhlali SAPS spokesperson captain Vinny Pillay, the Dolphin Coast is reasonably fortunate to only average about one hijacking a month.

“Most of the hijackings in our area tend to be on the highway and off-ramps,” said Pillay.

He confirmed that the majority of car thefts locally tend to occur during house robberies, and he warned people to always be vigilant when in their cars.

So, what are some of the more common trends?

The follow-home

This is a tactic we have all heard about, and one that is particularly scary.

Hijackers will typically follow their targets home before boxing them into the driveway with other vehicles, they will often wait for owners to enter their yard before stopping the security gate from closing.

The drug-and-dash

Hijackers will approach a car’s owner in a social setting and attempt to slip something into their drink before stealing their keys and driving off with their car.

However this is technically car theft and not hijacking.

The fill-‘er-up

Hijackers approach the vehicle from the blind spot while you are busy filling up at a petrol station before forcing the driver out of the vehicle and speeding away.

Also read: Man hijacked, kidnapped at Salt Rock offramp

The home invasion

Commonly after a house robbery when the criminals make their escape, they will load up a vehicle with everything they have stolen and flee in the car.

Again this is really more theft then a hijacking.

The blue-light bluff

Probably the most frightening, some hijackers manage to get their hands on official clothing, lights or signage and pull drivers over posing as police.

Once you stop for these “police” they overpower you and take the vehicle.

Also read: Ballito hijacking, driver abandoned in Inanda

Cherry picking

Statistic released by tracking company Ctrack show that hijackers target Volkswagens the most, with the Polo being a favourite, followed by Toyotas and Fords.

Meanwhile Fortuners were the most popular SUV’s stolen and Nissan trucks saw the most hijackings of larger vehicles.

So remember to always be vigilant while driving.

Keep your doors locked and be on the lookout for suspicious characters approaching your vehicle at intersections, parking lots and even the petrol station.

If you feel that you are being followed, do not go home – rather drive to the nearest police station.

The same applies to any ‘policeman’ trying to stop you who you are uncertain of; slow down and turn on your hazards to show that you intend to cooperate before driving to the nearest police station.

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  AUTHOR
Allan Troskie
Journalist

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