Early evening hijackings are rife in the Durban area, with most cases occurring during peak hour traffic. Excellerate Security is therefore warning drivers to be extra vigilant during these hours, and to carefully consider the roads they travel. Crime analysis over the past 14 months has also revealed that week days are the most popular for hijackers to strike.
Excellerate Security Crime Analyst Caitlin Naylor says hijacking patterns in Durban since January 2016 show that 87% of hijackings occur Monday to Friday, with Tuesdays seeing the highest number at 23%.
“Mondays are also seeing a significant amount of activity,” she says.
The breakdown reveals the following:
- Mondays 20%
- Tuesday 23%
- Wednesday 12%
- Thursday 17%
- Friday 15%
- Saturday 7%
- Sunday 6%
Naylor says the analysis shows that the majority of hijackings occur between the hours of 5pm and midnight. This higher risk could be due to the fact that drivers are focused on getting home after long days of work.
“When analysing the times of the day that hijackings are occurring, they are occurring throughout the daylight hours, with a significant number of incidents occurring in the early hours of the morning – usually between 3am and 6am – and the late afternoons/early evenings between 5pm and midnight.
“Despite Tuesdays seeing the most incidents in the week, Monday nights are the peak times for hijackings in Durban.”
In terms of vehicle makes, Toyotas and VWs are still the most sought-after targets. Furthermore, 25% of hijacked vehicles were bakkies, with 51% of vehicles white in colour. Silver vehicle are the second-most targeted.
Naylor adds that her statistics reveal the following:
- Toyota’s are currently the most commonly hijacked vehicles in Durban, specifically the Toyota Corollas and Etios
- Toyota Hilux’s and Ford Rangers have also been on the hit-list over the past few months
- White cars are popular as there are so many of them on the roads, making them harder to identify. Furthermore it is easier and quicker to paint over the white
- Hijacked and stolen vehicles are usually targeted according to a demand in the market. These vehicles are usually transported across the border and sold or their parts are stripped and sold
- Certain vehicles hold more value as the engines fit perfectly into the bonnets of taxis
To lessen your chance of becoming a hijack victim, Excellerate Security advises the following:
- Be extra vigilant when leaving or arriving at home, as this is where the majority of hijackings take place. Be aware of your surroundings and ensure you are not being followed
- If driving into an electric gate, stop your vehicle just on the inside of the gate and select reverse while waiting for it to close
- Ensure your driveway is well lit and free of trees, bush, and other shrubbery which could conceal hijackers
- Be wary of people standing near your house, rather drive past and make sure they pose no threat before entering. The same advice applies for unknown vehicles parked near your home
- Be aware of changes to your home routine, such as dogs not greeting you as normal. This could be a result of intimidation by hijackers or even house robbers
- If you have a manual gate, do not switch off your car when getting out to open it. Leave the engine running but close the door behind you
- However, if you have small children in the car, take the keys with you so you can use them as a negotiating tool
- When driving, always make sure you are not being followed, if you think that you are, drive straight to the nearest police station or public space
- Where possible, do not drive on quiet roads, especially at night
- Be aware of any suspicious people or vehicles at stop street or robots
- As stop streets or robots never stop too close to the vehicle in front of you. Give yourself space to manoeuvre if you find yourself in a hijacking situation
- Drive in the centre lane where possible, away from pedestrians
- Change your routines and driving times as much as possible