Gauteng has the highest hijacking figures in the country
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