Hijacking Trends in South Africa

Hijacking Trends in South Africa and How Vehicle Tracking Can Help

On average in South Africa, a vehicle is hijacked every 25 minutes. This is according to crime statistics data published by the South African Police Service (SAPS) in 2022. In fact, crime stats for January to March of that year show there were 5,402 reported incidents. 


Thieves are getting more daring and are finding new and improved ways to steal your car. But knowledge is power, so when you know what to look out for, your chances of being a victim decrease drastically. 

With that in mind, here are some of the most sophisticated ways hijackers are stealing cars. 

Top 4 Hijacking Trends in South Africa (2023)

Keyless Car Theft

1. Keyless Car Theft

Many modern cars don’t need a physical key to lock and unlock them, or even start them. Keyless entry vehicles are modern, but they present opportunities for car thieves.

Many of these cars unlock as you approach them, giving hijackers time to enter the vehicle after grabbing the key device from you and speeding away.


These cars can also lock automatically when you walk away from them, and it’s an easy habit to fall into to rely on this technology. But sophisticated signal jammers make easy work of getting you to walk away with your car unlocked. Here’s how keyless car theft is being executed by car thieves in South Africa:

2. 'Police' Hijacking

This isn’t necessarily a new tactic, but it’s one that’s still extremely common. Thieves pose as police officers, dressed in uniforms, and often have a simple blue light on their dashboard. They regularly work in groups of two-to-five, so it looks realistic.

 

They stop an approaching car. It’s easy because the driver likely thinks they’re real police officers. The thieves then force drivers to hand over their key—and off the criminals go.

 

There are also times when they’ll force the driver into the car with them. They will then drop the driver off somewhere around the city. SAPS reports state that most hijackings take place in our busy cities.

 

3. Fake Help

Hijackers may use the ruse of helping someone to gain access to their vehicle while they’re on the road. They might remove the number plate to show them it ‘fell off’ or let them know they have a flat tyre.

 

When the person gets out to see, the criminals take their opportunity. Again, they’ll often take the driver with them and drop them off somewhere far away.

 

4. Pretend Accident

This one works particularly well because people generally know what to do in a car accident. The criminals will bump a car gently.

 

Most people will exit their vehicles to see what damage has been done, so they can report it to their insurance company. The thieves will then force the victim away from their vehicle or into it with them and steal the car.

 

How to Safeguard Your Car from Hijacking

As a South African resident, you might be fed up with the enormous number of hijackings occurring every day. But is there anything you can do about it?

 

Yes, there is! You can fit a vehicle tracking device to your car. These hardware devices are growing more and more sophisticated. Tracking companies do their best to recover your vehicle when it’s taken.

 

Deter Theft with a Tracking Device

Even though criminals often attempt to remove tracking devices from cars, they’re still an extremely important way to help recover your vehicle. In fact, CarTrack, for example, has a 95% recovery rate. So, more than nine out of 10 times, South Africans who use CarTrack will get their car back.

 

Finding a tracking device can take a lot of time for a thief, and sometimes they have to just about pull a car apart to find it. This is a major deterrent, especially if they’re stealing the vehicle to sell, rather than to get spare parts. They’re not easily removed or disabled.

 

Depending on the type or make of tracker, the device will either send signals to a central point where the vehicle tracking company can monitor and locate a stolen vehicle, or it can even go to your cell phone. You could walk into a police station to not only report the incident but also show the police exactly where the vehicle is located.


 

Get More from Your Tracking Services

Often, a security company that offers tracking can include added benefits like a panic button, which will be useful in this situation. Some even have advanced AI features that can detect attempted theft and alert the nearest vehicles in their response team if you’re using their vehicle recovery services.
 
Are you looking for a way to safeguard your car from hijacking? We can help make it easier to find the right tracking company for your needs. Simply fill in the form on this page.

 
Our system will match you with the best tracking company for your needs. They will then call you with an obligation-free quote. In no time at all, you could have a safer, more secure vehicle and peace of mind on South Africa’s roads.