Hijacking hotspots: 71% occur in driveways

Residential driveways have become hijacking hotspots with an estimated 71% of car hijackings taking place there. Most of the time, criminals block the driveway so that the victims cannot get away.

Stats reveal residential driveways as hijacking hotspots

According to statistics from Crime SA, an estimated 71% of car hijackings in South Africa occur in residential driveways. This aligns with data from the security firm Fidelity ADT and the MiWay insurance company.

The hijacking market operates on the basis of demand and supply. Hijackers target specific vehicles for particular purposes and markets. There is a high demand in the black market for Toyotas, VWs, Fords, and Nissans, as reported by Business Tech.

“It is always important to remain alert and aware when driving to and from your residence. Simply being aware of what is happening around your vehicle can make a massive and positive difference to your safety.”

Charnel Hattingh, Head of Communications and Marketing at Fidelity Services Group.

According to Anti-Hijacking and Policing SA, hijackers often use the driveway hijacking technique, in which they block the driveway. This technique is similar to the one they use at fast-food drive-thrus, where they block you from the front and back.

Stats reveal that 66 cars are stolen daily

The South African Police Service’s (SAPS) latest data shows that South Africa has seen an increase in hijackings year-on-year, with some provinces experiencing a bigger jump in hijackings than others.

Approximately 66 cars are being stolen daily in South Africa, and the most high-risk provinces are also the most populated ones.

According to the SAPS, three provinces experienced a notable year-on-year increase (over 10%) in hijackings. These provinces are Gauteng, the Western Cape, and North West.

Driveway hijacking safety tips

Krugersdorp News published the following safety tips:

Be aware of other vehicles on the road. Keep checking the rear-view mirror for any vehicles that might be following you. If you see a suspicious vehicle behind you, drive past your driveway and around the block. If they are still behind you, drive to the nearest police station.

Make sure to check your surroundings before opening the gate or your garage door.

When you follow a routine, it makes it easier for hijackers to plan a hijacking. They often rely on predictable behaviour and patterns in your daily or weekly routine. Try to vary the times you get home and the routes you take from the shops or your work to your house.

Make sure your driveway is well-lit, especially when returning home at night.

If possible, let someone at home know when you are around the corner so that they can be on the lookout and aware of any suspicious activities.

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