Recent data released by stolen vehicle recovery company, Tracker, gives motorists much-needed insight into the time of day and week when vehicle crimes are most likely to occur across the country.
The statistics report was complied from 1.1-million tracker-equip vehicles and cover both vehicle hijacking and theft. Another main focus of the index is suburbs and areas most effected by these crimes and the specific techniques employed by criminals.
Surprisingly the data showed that most hijackings take place on Fridays in broad daylight – between 11am and 1pm – addressing the common misconception that most hijacking incidents occur in the late evening. The second most recorded incidents take place on the same day between 8pm and 11pm.
Vehicles with trackers were activated mostly on Saturdays between 12pm and 2pm for attempts of theft. Activations indicate that the car tracker initiates a recovery action so the vehicle can be tracked. This year’s statistics are very similar to those recorded last year.
Majority of the activations recorded took place in Gauteng, Kwa-Zulu Natal and the Western Cape. Suburbs in the Western Cape most affected by hijacking are Philippi, Khayelitsha and Maitland.
Philippi, Claremont and Dunoon most affected by cases of theft.
Although techniques used by criminals are similar year-on-year, the tracking company did record an increase in hostage-taking during hijackings.
On average 29% of incidences of hijackings this year involved hostages being taken.
Another recorded technique includes criminals impersonating law enforcement officials, spiking of drinks to take advantage unsuspecting victims, and vehicle theft via online selling platforms where motorists hand over their vehicles after receiving false payment for the vehicle.
In recorded business crimes, most vehicles were stolen for the goods they were carrying at the time.
Tracker reported recovering 5 438 vehicles, making 1 037 arrests and the recovery of 50 firearms between July 2018 and June 2019.
“Many people go about their regular driving activity on auto-pilot without much awareness or consideration for what is going on around them. Criminals recognise and take advantage of this complacency,” says Ron Knott-Craig, Executive Operational Services at Tracker South Africa. “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.”
Locals are advised to be more aware of their surroundings and take into account the various methods and tendencies of behaviours to better prepare themselves. If you are worried about your vehicle, installing a tracking device is one way to better ensure your car’s return if it is ever stolen.