The recent Gatesville hijacking sparked outrage amongst Capetonians who are finding it increasingly difficult to remain optimistic about the state of the city.
In the shocking video, a mother tries to stop an unknown suspect from driving away with her three children after she was pulled out of her vehicle in the parking lot of Gatesville Centre on Tuesday, July 20.
The suspect, who managed to get away, dropped the children off along Pook Road where they were then reunited with their mom, IOL reports.
One Facebook user described this ordeal as “one of [their] biggest fears” while many others were relieved that the children were safe.
“Hijackings are unfortunately a prevailing part of our crime story, with over 30 000 hijackings of motor vehicles, including trucks, taking place [in South Africa] in a single year,” says Anneli Retief, Head of Dialdirect.
The National Hijacking Prevention Academy (NHPA) shared some of the key findings from an in-depth analysis of hijackings that took place in South Africa between August 2019 and July 2020. This report reveals that:
- Hijackings take place each day of the week but occurs more often on Fridays from 12:00 midday, while peaking between 16:00 and 20:00.
- Hijackers prefer spots where vehicles are moving slowly or stationary.
- Most hijackings take place in residential driveways while other hotspots include traffic intersections, the side of the road, schools, petrol stations, and parking areas amongst others.
- Hijackers generally choose spots where victims can’t escape easily. They also follow victims from busy public spaces to quieter spots.
Remain vigilant and avoid falling victim to a hijacking with these tips:
- Pay careful attention to your surroundings, especially when your vehicle will be moving slowly, or will be coming to a complete stop.
- Ensure that your driveway is well-lit so that perpetrators have no place to hide.
- Plan your route carefully to avoid driving through unsafe areas at unsafe times.
- Make your way to the nearest police station if you suspect that you are being followed.
- Stop your vehicle parallel to your automatic gate in order to give yourself the chance to escape if need be. If your surroundings are safe, you can then proceed to turn your car around once your gate has opened. Make sure to wait for it to close behind you.
- On the other hand, if you have a non-automatic gate, then it’s always a good idea to check if your surroundings are safe before exiting your vehicle to manually open the gate.
- Time your approach to traffic lights in such a way that you don’t have to come to a complete halt.
- When stopping behind a vehicle at a traffic light or stop sign, make sure that you can see its rear tyres as this will make it more difficult to be boxed in.
- Keep your phones and valuables out of sight.
- Ensure that your doors are locked after exiting your vehicle. Lock your doors immediately once you return.
- Make sure to always keep the SA Police Services’ number on speed dial: 10111.