Gaut­eng has the high­est hi­jack­ing fig­ures in the coun­try

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS -

CAR OWN­ERS liv­ing on the Berea, in Dur­ban Cen­tral, as well as Phoenix, Um­bilo and Chatsworth, face a higher chance of hav­ing their cars hi­jacked or stolen than in other suburbs.

Most of th­ese in­ci­dents take place be­tween 6pm and mid­night, with Tues­days be­ing the busiest time for crim­i­nals.

This is ac­cord­ing to re­cently re­leased statis­tics by car tracking com­pany Ctrack by Inseego.

Ac­cord­ing to the statis­tics, Gaut­eng is the hotspot for ve­hi­cle theft and car hi­jack­ings, with al­most two out of every three in­ci­dents oc­cur­ring in that prov­ince.

KwaZulu-Na­tal came in at 15%, with the Western Cape at 7%, the East­ern Cape at 5% and Mpumalanga record­ing 3% of all hi­jack­ings.

Re­cent fig­ures re­leased by the In­sti­tute for Se­cu­rity Stud­ies showed hi­jack­ings in­creased by 55% in the past four years. This equates to at least 40 hi­jack­ings daily.

Paul An­tao, Berea Com­mu­nity Po­lice Fo­rum chair­per­son, said he was not sur­prised that the Berea emerged as a ve­hi­cle theft hotspot.

“Traf­fic lead­ing to dif­fer­ent ar­eas in Dur­ban has to pass through the Berea. Many times, th­ese in­ci­dents oc­cur in the drive­ways of res­i­dents. Most of our res­i­dents are af­flu­ent and they are fol­lowed home and hi­jacked in their drive­ways… It’s of­ten Mercedes-Ben­zes and Golf GTIs that are taken,” said An­tao.

A num­ber of hi­jack­ings also oc­curred out­side schools. “While par­ents are wait­ing for their chil­dren, they are be­ing hi­jacked. Then there are in­ci­dents at traf­fic in­ter­sec­tions,” said An­tao.

Spe­cific roads in the Berea were hotspots, he said.

“We are ap­peal­ing to mo­torists to be aware of their sur­round­ings. They must not give money or food to beg­gars at traf­fic lights as hi­jack sus­pects can hide among them.

He warned driv­ers to be aware of be­ing fol­lowed, es­pe­cially those driv­ing ve­hi­cles de­scribed as high risk. Th­ese in­cluded Mercedes-Ben­zes, VW Po­los and SUVs.

Cap­tain Nqo­bile Gwala, pro­vin­cial po­lice spokesper­son, said while hi­jack­ings hap­pened al­most any­where in and around Dur­ban, driv­ers needed to be ex­tra cau­tious when ap­proach­ing their homes or traf­fic in­ter­sec­tions.

“They must al­ways look for any­thing sus­pi­cious. They must be vig­i­lant and re­port th­ese cars and peo­ple to the po­lice,” said Gwala. – Se-Anne Rall

Tues­day nights the riski­est time of the week

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