Just as many are celebrating the season, criminals are also upping their games on how to hijack vehicles from their victims.
It’s that time of year where criminals are getting a little more desperate, and a lot more creative. Thieves are finding more inventive ways to utilise car scams and commit nefarious acts at the expense of others.
Crime-fighting expert Yusuf Abramjee exposed three of these dodgy schemes last night, during his Crime Watch show on eNCA. In a round-up of the week’s viral videos, we see thieves abusing fob signal technology in England, and two thugs making their escape with car number plates.
There’s also a jaw-dropping hijacking incident to complete the caberet of crime. The people who operate on the wrong side of the law aren’t going to correct their behaviour any time soon, and it’s imperative that all of us – as citizens – remain wise to the dangers on our streets.
CAR SCAMS AND CRIMES TO LOOK OUT FOR:
SMOOTH CRIMINALS IN THE UK
In the first video, we see a pair of car thieves using a sophisticated device to break into a parked vehicle. The item intercepts the signal between the key’s fob from inside the property, and the car on the driveway. Once they’ve interrupted it, they can slide into their target and get away without having to lay a finger on the exterior.
PLATE THIEVES IN DURBAN
Robbers don’t have to steal your car to aid and abet their crimes. CCTV footage captured two suspects in Durban who have made a casual habit of removing number plates from their rightful vehicles, so they can be transferred onto other motors to disguise their identity.
Plate-swapping allows these thugs to deceive the police, and they can be easily removed or swapped around once they’ve been stolen. It’s a nightmare for law-abiding citizens, who can be tied to these car scams based on their vehicle-ownership status.
HIJACKERS OPERATING IN MORNINGSIDE, DURBAN
Sorry KZN, it’s a Durban double-dip. The last clip on the reel shows a gang of five men approaching a woman who has just left her vehicle. They immediately steal her handbag and keys, but it’s not enough. They also bundle her into the back of her car and speed away. Thankfully, this particular victim was dropped off further up the road.
Motorists must remember to check their surroundings wherever they end up parking. If possible, always travel with someone else if you’re going to an area you’re unsure of.
It is a nightmare that has plagued our roads for years, and Gauteng in particular has become notorious for its hijacking incidents.
The dreadful thuggery has claimed many lives, ruined families, and shattered the safety and confidence of entire metropolises. Ordinary South Africans live in fear of being held hostage in their own vehicles.
How to survive a hijacking
However, according to security expert Ryno Schutte, there are steps that any citizen can take to give themselves a fighting chance of surviving their ordeal.
Schutte is the managing director of Pro-ActiveSA, a company which helps notifies and distributes information in stolen or hijacked vehicles to security companies, and said that it is more important to take evasive action rather than be confrontational:
First and foremost, if you can get out of the situation you must. Give yourself some space and get yourself away from what’s happening. It’s not worth you losing your life.
Speaking on 702, he first revealed that hijackers are now targeting motorists when they least expect it – between 16:00 – 20:00 as commuters make their way home. He then went on to share his advice of what to do if you are caught up in this situation.
What do you do if you are hijacked?
- Pick up the language they speak; even if you don’t understand it, identifying Afrikans/Xhosa etc will help narrow any police search.
- Listen to the information they give each other. This may be conversations between multiple hijackers, or their communications on cell phones.
- Note how many suspects are involved. Seems simple, but it’s effective.
- Try and see what shoes they are wearing. When these types of criminals commit crimes, they will change clothes but keep the same footwear on.
- Height estimates are a very useful thing to get. If you can compare their height to your own, this will be easier for police to interpret.