Spike in car jamming in Johannesburg

2012-01-25 22:39

Johannesburg - Insurance claims resulting from car jamming incidents in Johannesburg have risen in the past few months, an insurance broker said on Wednesday.

"The number of car jamming incidents in the Johannesburg area has gone up in the past 18 months, and not much can be done to stop the jamming as car remotes are electronic transmitters," Aon South Africa spokesperson Kate Lellyett said in a statement.

She said exact numbers were not available, but quoted from a newspaper report that 40 cases a week had recently been reported in the Sandton area.

"It's a challenge to give you a scientific figure as there are a number of insurance products that don't cover this type of loss, so we would not have total reported claims to check against.

"However, on the policies that do cover it we have seen a marked increase, but because of the number of unreported cases it's a challenge to quantify total losses as result," she said.

Car jamming involves blocking car remotes using a household remote because both remotes operate on a 400Mhz frequency. Criminals prevent the locking action of the car from being activated.

Lellyett said the real defence was to mitigate risk by being aware of the practice and personally checking that car doors were locked.

"Make sure you hear the beep of your alarm system and the audible sound of the locking mechanism.

"Physically check your doors and boot... Your valuables should be kept in your boot and out of sight," she said.

"Jamming is being executed by professional gangs and motorists will need to remain vigilant to prevent falling victim to this scam."

On Wednesday morning, The Star newspaper reported that of the 40 cases of theft from vehicles reported in Sandton each week, at least 85% were thefts in which jamming took place.

Aon SA said that with the average cost of a laptop at R10 000 and a lady's handbag at R5 000, the costs were substantial, with losses of around R510 000 a week and more than R2m a month.

Car jamming had significant implications, Lellyett said.

"The reality is that unless there are signs of forcible or violent entry, most insurance policies won't pay out for claims of theft of valuables from your vehicle."

  • Etienne - 2012-01-26 00:58

    R5000 for a handbag :s

      Sean - 2012-01-26 01:36

      This is "Sandton" remember - Louis Vouton (spelling?) They cost quite a penny..!

      Col - 2012-01-26 06:40

      Chances are, the R5000 most likely includes the contents of the handbag (purse, cash, makeup, sunglasses, power tools).

      callan.eckert - 2012-01-26 06:44

      Value of the bag, plus the purse and the cash and cards + cell phone that is probably in the bag and so forth.

      Peter - 2012-01-26 07:18

      "Power tools" Col - ha ha, like that one! But I can't inderstand why a handbag would be left in a car, I'd investigate a bit deeper on such a claim if I was an insurance assessor?

  • Denzil - 2012-01-26 06:00

    This is just another classic example of how stupid people get with advances of technology. If you TV Remote is not working will you not wake up off your seat and change the channel manually ??? Same with Cars. There is something that is called a key. If you turn it in the lock of your vehicle (if you have central locking) it will lock your doors. If you push the button in your car down - the car doors lock. How hard can it be. This is not a crime where someone points and gun to your head and instructs you not to lock your car! Its easy to prevent - Check if your car doors are locked after you lock them with your remote. If it is not working - Go to plan B - Lock the doors manually. Easy as that !

      Jessica - 2012-01-26 07:10

      Hmmm my vehicle doesnt have a manual locking mechanism - what would you suggest I do as I doesnt drive a 19vortsek car?

      Peter - 2012-01-26 07:22

      Denzil - my TV does not have a manual option, that is rather annoying. And my surround sound system had to be dumped (the woofer part) cause the remote stopped working, I tried replacing it but nothing worked. So yes, some modern technology is certainly negative for us.

      Daphne - 2012-01-26 07:50

      Jessica - maybe get your language up to the standard of your car - "I doesn't"??????????????????????????? And believe me - ALL systems have a back-up - even 19voetsek models!! Maybe you must learn to operate you emergency systems? @ Peter - I'm electronically challenged, but at least know where to adjust the TV in case of electronic remote failure. Maybe check next time you buy and work it out?

      aarchaic - 2012-01-26 08:14

      All i can say is go test if your remote is blocked or not. My wifes 2010 audi is not affected by my Level 4 aftermarket upgrade alarm I had installed into my 1991 jetta is affected. so be vigilant and keep an eye out remember those gate remotes works roughtly in a 30m radius and if you see people hanging about take extra care!

      Andre - 2012-01-26 11:04

      Daphne, this for you: siesa, you are playing the man (in this case woman) and not the ball!

  • Breinlekkasie - 2012-01-26 06:52

    I usually stand next to the car and listen for the sound the door mechanisms make when the doors lock. Even better, check if the doors are locked before walking away from the car.

  • Vuyo - 2012-01-26 07:23

    This s an indication of how careless people have become , how do you just walk away without checking if the doors are really!!!!! locked. This is also clearly ignorance and people seem to put too much trust on technology . I hope this will knock people back into reality .The problem here is not criminality , but ignorance . LET THE OWNER BEWARE .

      StarStruck - 2012-01-26 13:42

      We are all human and we make mistakes. This articles sounding a few alarm bells when considering that the signal can be blocked with the average household remote. I certainly added this to my list of things to be watchful of is sunny South Africa.

  • Kyle - 2012-01-26 07:37

    Nice News24.......why dont you just do a sky banner on how to jamm alarm systems.......

      Fredster - 2012-01-26 07:45

      Dude, people need to know how it is done... info is king!!!

      blackjew69 - 2012-01-26 07:46

      @ kyle - That goes to enews too, irresponsible reporting.

      Bennie - 2012-01-26 08:18

      All criminals know this by now. Why should the law abiding citizens not know? Sometimes I wonder how stupid people can still be alive and typing???

      Paul - 2012-01-26 11:24

      If we know how its done then we know how or what to do to prevent it from happening.

  • paulmandlankosi - 2012-01-26 07:42

    So these criminals are more intelligent than we think

  • gennath - 2012-01-26 07:47

    So now if I forget to lock my car I can just say it must have been a car jammer? Maybe people have just become more forgetful after the new year's bash and the car jamming tech is a convenient scapegoat :)

  • Truthis - 2012-01-26 08:26

    Insurance companies are parasites. If I accidentally do not lock my car thta is an accident, that is what insurance is for.

  • Keshlen Reddy - 2012-01-26 08:30

    Well, if that happened to me and i'm not covered by my insurance, I will break that tiny back glass and report a car break in. Insurance is expensive and to me, if its not your car, dont open it. So, if a criminal had to pilfer my stuff, technically i was robbed and i will act accordingly to claim from my insurance.

  • Mike - 2012-01-26 08:31

    Guys, Just to qualify what I am about to say, I am active in the security industry. Jamming and even coping of 'normal' household remotes like gate, garage doors and alarm arm/disarm remotes is common and has been going on for a number of years. And insurance companies in order to pay out claims state forced entry has to occur. So make sure you have upgraded your household remotes to code hopping remotes and if any security company is letting their customers arm their alarms with normal remotes - fire them.

  • chris.kleynhans - 2012-01-26 09:20

    Unfortunately, Newspaper articles like this serves for one to make the public aware of the phenomenon and secondly to inform the criminal mind exactly how to acquire a new skill.

  • skootzie - 2012-01-26 09:41

    "Car jamming involves blocking car remotes using a household remote because both remotes operate on a 400Mhz frequency. Criminals prevent the locking action of the car from being activated." So..before you just lock your car with a remote and walk away (like I've seen many people do) .... MAKE SURE YOUR CAR IS LOCKED!!! .. If you don't ensure it's locked, it's your own damn fault if your car gets stolen. My car has a remote but I ALWAYS ensure all doors are locked manually before I move away from my car. Common sense .. oh how I wish it was common.

  • Cy - 2012-01-26 09:53

    LOL, car manufacturers know this for years as well as thieves. It is not a new phenomenon. My one friend works at a car manufacturer in Rosslyn. 4 years ago my friend asked me if I would like to help them out, they need as many gate remotes as they can get. They want to test which type/manufacturer remotes will jam and which one's will not jam the signal of the car remotes. Some remotes worked on certain cars but not on other cars, some remotes haven't worked at all and then you get those remotes like my friend's remote that works on all cars! Yes, he have tested his remote on cars in parking lots at malls etc etc.

  • NeoAcheron - 2012-01-26 11:52

    I always press my car's lock button more that once. I usually forget, and check, and forget that I've checked, so I'll press it until I see my indicator lights flash... Unfortunately I have no audible tone from the alarm system, but you can hear the central locking engage when the button is pressed. People say I'm paranoid, but I'd rather be paranoid than sorry, especially in our lovely criminally insane country.

      NeoAcheron - 2012-01-26 11:58

      Also, my car has a "boot only" unlock button, which allows the boot to be opened once, when you close it, the car locks itself again. If you unlock all the doors and you do not open them, the car will lock itself again and activate the alarm... Its pretty advances, considering its a cheap ol' Hyundai i20. But no matter how advanced, my dad illustrated to me that I cannot lock my car when he uses his really cheap garage/gate remote. I've seen it for myself, its not a myth.

  • Jerry - 2012-01-26 12:00

    I have been a victim of this. for those that have the Blue remote that opens the electric gates, this is what they use to jam your vehicles locking device. While holding the button down on the Blue remote, try locking your car. If it does not lock, always make sure when you leaving your car unattended, physically check your doors. I have my Double Cab that i had for just 2 weeks stolen

  • Gideon - 2012-01-26 12:38

    Check the door is locked before walking off: not exactly rocket-science. We live in SA, and you live in Jhb...crime happens, so don't act like sheeple.

  • tony.delucchi - 2012-01-26 12:40

    ....I am a bit off the track here, but do I pay insurance to prevent loss or to recompensate loss? I might put certain failsafes in place to make it a wee bit harder for a criminal, but if I do suffer a loss the insurance company must be obliged to cover it, not punish me because I did not do all in my power to prevent it!

  • Richard - 2012-01-26 13:23

    I often find areas in town when my remote doesnt work and I have to use the key, I presumed that electonic equipment nearby was interupting signal.I allways check vehicle locks with remote before I walk away.

  • Ally - 2012-01-26 13:48

    How about car owners disabling the remote facility and going back to manual locking/unlocking? Jeez, how difficult is that to figure out? Who said "I'm too sexy for my shirt"? Well, it should now be: "I'm too stupid to protect my goods"

      StarStruck - 2012-01-26 14:25

      Are you not South African or what?? When something like this makes the news do you not think that people will take note?? Do you think that working class citizens like to have their things stolen?? Do you think we like putting everything we own on insurance and paying unspeakable amounts of money for doing so?? This country is filled with bad people which is nothing new to us. My philosophy is to not trust anyone and keep your eyes OPEN and not just open.

      skootzie - 2012-01-27 10:41

      Ally: It was Right Said Fred that said "I'm too sexy for my shirt", hehe. I agree, this whole "remote locking" thing is just humanity being lazy; it takes less than 5 seconds to lock the car and if all cars come with central locking? Well ... As I've already posted, if one doesn't check that one's car is locked before moving away from the vehicle then one deserves to have one's car stolen. It's logical and make sense to ensure your car is locked; only an idiot blindly relies on the technology they use. I'm a software developer and I backup my computer every day, why? Because I'm not stupid enough to think "it will never break" or "nothing could ever go wrong".

      skootzie - 2012-01-27 10:43

      StarStruck: Not everyone believes what the news report. A mentioned this recent rise in car theft because of lock jamming and he brushed it off as "myth" because "it has never happened to me nor my friends". So not everyone will pay attention I'm afraid. :(

  • Ulf - 2012-04-25 17:53

    JAMGUARD™ instantly detects signal interferences from jammers, making sure you never leave your car without checking that it's securely locked and armed. Description Car thieves use remote signal jammers to ‘block’ the signal from your remote and it hasn’t been safe to just press the ‘lock’ button on your car remote and walk away without giving it a second thought. UNTIL NOW... Plug in a JAMGUARD™- The remote jamming protection device that’s never caught off guard. JAMGUARD™ instantly detects signal interferences from jammers as soon as you press your car remote. The built-in siren will trigger, alerting you to the danger. It’s always on guard to make sure you never leave your car without checking that it’s securely locked and armed.

  • Ulf - 2012-04-25 17:54

  • Bev Alves - 2013-10-24 15:23

    At a shopping center after i did my rounds and returned to my vehicle i undone my alarm and central locking got into the car and trying to start the car but it was completely neutralized and so was another 2 cars near by but we didn't left our cars so a lot of friends and people coming around and asking what was wrong ... so the perpetrators saw this is get to much no soon enough we saw a bakkie pulling out very slowly from near by and guess what all 3 cars restarted ( IGNITION ON )and the back of the bakkie was written ( ROAD MAINTENANCE ).

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