Criminal syndicates have set their targets on fuel tankers, as the price of fuel continues to soar.
Vehicle-recovery and fleet-intelligence company Netstar reports that the theft and hijacking of tankers are on an upward trend.
The company says that from January to June, hijackings and thefts among their customers rose by 24%.
Charles Morgan, the company’s operations executive, says fuel tankers belonging to Netstar’s fleet customers have seen a dramatic rise.
“In a recent case, a criminal gang hijacked a fuel tanker after midnight, but we were able to recover the tanker and the driver, who was unharmed.
“We recommend that operators of tanker fleets be extra vigilant and take all measures they can to protect their drivers and vehicles.”
Netstar also reports a spike in vehicle thefts during the morning hours, followed by a surge in hijackings during the afternoon and evening.
“During May and June, daily vehicle hijackings reached a peak between 7pm and 8pm. Our data indicate that hijackings are more common in the evening hours.
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“Hijackings are also the most common way for vehicles to be stolen. This implies that criminals may find it easier to steal a vehicle through contact crime, such as hijacking, than through theft of an unattended vehicle. This may be because there is no need to circumvent alarm and immobiliser technology when the driver is at the wheel.”
According to Netstar, Gauteng is by far the main hotspot for vehicle crime.
“In June, 51.2% of the vehicle-theft crimes Netstar recorded in the country happened in Gauteng.”
KwaZulu-Natal recorded the second-most incidents with 23%, while the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape both registered around 6% of incidents.