According to Netwerk24, there had been a recent increase in vehicle hijackings in the North West where hijackers even helped unsuspecting motorists to change their tire before they hijacked them.
Hijackers use various methods to hijack motorists and some of these methods include impersonating a traffic – or police officer in order to rob and hijack the unsuspecting motorists.
Other methods include asking motorists for directions, helping them when they are in trouble (like a flat tire) and attacking them when they pull off the road when nature calls.
The police urge the public to avoid parking next to the road along the way to your destination and to report suspicious people or vehicles at your nearest police station.
Capt. Sam Tselanyane, police spokesman of the North West told Netwerk24 that motorists need to pay particular attention to the following:
- Never pick up strangers or hitchhikers to give them a lift.
- Don’t park next to the side of the road, unless it is an emergency.
- Maintain your vehicle and check the tires regularly, this will reduce your chances of becoming stranded next to the road.
- Plan your route beforehand and inform people about it, as well as what time you should reach your destination.
- Check your rearview mirror regularly to see when someone is following you.
- Don’t talk on your phone when you drive, this is to prevent you from getting distracted.
- If you suspect that you are being followed, drive to your nearest police station or any public space with a lot of people.
- Reduce your speed when you approach a red traffic light, especially at night, so it turns green when you reach it and you don’t have to stop.
- Try to park your car in a central, well-lit area where there are preferably guards on duty.
- Stop half a vehicle length behind other vehicles so that you can easily get away should there be an emergency.
- Avoid driving in unfamiliar areas late at night or early morning hours.
- Try to avoid driving alone in the dark.
- Change your route to your usual destinations regularly.
- Hijacker’s modus operandi is usually to cause a small accident, like bumping into your car from the back. If you feel uncomfortable to get out of your vehicle, indicate to the person to follow you to the nearest police station or other busy, public area.
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