• A Toyota Hilux was stolen in Pretoria before being recovered.
• The stolen bakkie was en route to Mozambique.
• It was recovered using the tracking system.
• For more motoring stories, visit Wheels24
Vehicle theft is a common problem in South Africa. Vehicles are stolen daily, with many of them never recovered. In 2020, Wheels24 reported on a stolen Lamborghini Urus that was spotted in Mozambique. Throughout the year, more vehicles were reported missing, and it continued into 2021.
In a sea of stolen vehicles in South Africa, a Toyota Hilux has been recovered during an attempt to take it across the border into Mozambique in late October 2021. The bakkie was stolen in Pretoria before the SANDF and SAPS recovered it. The Hilux was fitted with one of Tracker's tracking systes, which made the recovering of the bakkie possible.
The section of the border where the bakkie was recovered does not have a fence or wall. Criminals often use this bushed-out section between the two countries to get stolen goods across.
Tracker estimates that approximately 30% of vehicles that are stolen or hijacked are taken to neighbouring countries and states.
Don't become a statistic
It's often easier said than done when it comes to protecting yourself and your vehicle. However, despite criminals finding new and intuitive ways to get the better of unsuspecting victims, it is best to be prepared in such an event and be aware of the danger signs.
To avoid becoming a victim:
• Limit the amount of personal information you share on social media and telephonically. Criminals use this to build a detailed profile of their victims.
• Be vigilant and maintain a healthy sense of scepticism when talking to strangers. Make every effort to verify that they are indeed who they say they are and employed by the company they claim to represent.
• Check with the manufacturer and/or dealership directly to verify that the recall is legitimate. Don't trust the contact details provided by the person who called you.
• Report any suspicious calls to the authorities, the manufacturer and/or the dealership.
Anton Koen, NoJack Vehicle Tracking CEO, says: "Many vehicles are fitted with a factory alarm system. Unfortunately, criminals soon find a way to bypass it. A reputable aftermarket alarm and anti-theft system may help if an accredited installer installs it. Old style security such as gear and steering locks work well. If you have an older vehicle such as a Tazz, owners should consider a different door key and lock. These can even be changed on newer vehicles. It may be a deterrent for the criminal that forces open the regular door lock.
"In terms of a tracking device, people do not realize the importance of a proper location device. However, not all 'tracking' units are suitable as security devices. Some are only management units and are compromised very quickly. When using a tracking service provider, it is suggested that the person shops around because bigger is not always better in this industry.
"After a hijacking or theft, the victim often does not remember or know which tracking company they are making use of. If you are happy to do so, it is suggested that this info be shared with a close friend or a family member, even trustworthy neighbours and your home security company. They can be there for you to inform your tracking company when you may not be able to. However, ensure that instructions on your client profile state which people may act on your behalf.
"Also, keep in mind that certain tracking companies will NOT respond until the police case is available. These days it is better to have a personal relationship with your security service provider where you are not just a number in the system."