Two smash-and-grab incidents at popular hiking spots have residents on high alert as the trend of car theft that started in 2019 seems to be continuing on into 2020.

Hikers who parked at Silvermine East returned to their vehicle in shambles at approximately 5.30pm on Sunday, January 26. They found their vehicle broken into and searched for valuables to steal, and it is unknown whether the thieves were able to make off with any belongings.

Another vehicle was also hit in the Platteklip Gorge area on Tuesday morning, January 28.

Last year Cape Town experienced a significant increase in smash-and-grabs with a number of areas being flagged as hotspots. In 2019, CCTV operators captured 143 smash-and-grab incidents or attempts that took place between May and October.

It seems this trend is continuing in the new year with nature-lovers concerned about where to park their vehicles when they venture into the mountains for a hiking expedition.

Hotspots to avoid include the intersection of Jakes Gerwel Drive which is notorious for smash-and-grabs and the intersection in Bishop Lavis between Robert Sobukwe Road.

Here are a few tips to reduce the risk of smash-and-grab incidents

1. Keep all valuables in your car out of sight either in the boot or underneath the seats.

2. Make sure your doors are locked and windows closed when you approach intersections or crossings.

3. When approaching a red traffic light at night, slow down so that you reach the crossing when the light has already turned green. This will reduce the risk of being in a vulnerable stationary position at an intersection.

4. Be cautious of people loitering at traffic lights or intersections.

5. Avoid discussions with vendors at intersections as it provides an ideal distraction for a perpetrator to access vehicles and motorist’s goods.

Smash-and-grab incidents can be reported to the nearest police station or the City’s Public Emergency Communication Centre by dialing 021 480 7700 from a cellphone or 107 from a landline.

Picture: Facebook/Table Mountain Watch

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