Drivers warned of theft

2017-05-02 06:01

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Motorists are urged to stay cautious following an increase in hijackings in the Lentegeur policing precinct.

Police confirm these cases are most prevalent in Mandalay and Colorado.

“Car owners need to be more alert when stopping and parking their cars in the roads. Sometimes they even leave the engine on or the keys in the car while running inside a residence or business premises,” says station commander Colonel Herman Seals.

“In the most cases that are reported the victim is sitting in the car in front of a residence when the thief knocks, threatens him with a firearm and then takes the car.”

Car most commonly stolen are Toyotas, Hyundai Getzes, Opel Corsas and VW Polos.

But Seals says everyone should stay cautious as hijackers are not looking for any specific brands.

A Colorado Park woman, who asked not to be named, says she was involved in an attempted hijacking three weeks ago while driving home in Highlands Drive.

“It was the middle of the day and the roads were busy. I just wanted to get home after dealing with all the traffic so I was not paying attention,” she says.

As she approached the robots before the primary school, the woman says she was approached by two men.

As one man knocked on her car window the robot changed and she sped off. She did not report the case.

She is not alone, as several residents believe reporting attempted robberies, hijackings and other crimes to the police is not ­important.

“We urge the community to report cases as this will give us a clear indication where crime occurs, and from there we can deploy manpower to hotspots we identify,” says Seals.

Not reporting crimes will mean police are not aware of crimes happening and will concentrate resources to other areas.

With several hijackings having taken place, police say there are a group of thieves operating in the area.

“The thieves normally drive in a silver or white Polo and most of the time it is three or four men with firearms. There are no specific times, as it happens in the day and night and most of the time near escape routes,” Seals says.

In a recent incident, two men were arrested minutes after they hijacked a Toyota in Mandalay on Saturday 1 April.

And on Friday 21 April just before 11:00 three men were arrested in Melkbos Street after a high-speed chase through the streets of Mitchell’s Plain. The men were found to be in possession of a hijacked car stolen in Somerset West.

“The community must be aware of what they leave in their cars to avoid becoming a victim. Our advice to the community is that all valuable property is to be removed from parked cars and we encourage drivers to ensure that they park in secure parking areas and behind locked gates at night to avoid break-ins and theft,” says Seals.

TIPS:

The largest number of hijackings occur while cars are stationary, and now police are urging motorists to take more care:

. While your car is stationary alongside the road.

. While going in or out of your driveway.

. While sitting in your car.

. While stationary at a stop sign or traffic light.

. While loading and offloading passengers or goods.

What to do if you are hijacked?

. Listen and follow the instructions of the hijackers.

. Do not panic or show emotional ­distress.

. Sudden movement could be interpreted as a threat.

. Try to remember details of your assailants: Names, physical details, visible markings, description of the car they are driving.

Always be aware of your surroundings and use your mirrors to ensure that you are not followed.

If you suspect you might be followed drive to the nearest police ­station.

Anyone with information on crime in the Lentegeur area is urged to call the station on 021 377 5100 or Crime Stop on 08600 10111. All information will be treated as highly confidential.

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