The days and times you’re most at risk of being hijacked in South Africa

 ·26 Nov 2023

Tracker’s latest vehicle crime statistics show that hijackings still dominate vehicle crime incidents and reveal the day of the week and the time of day you’re most likely to have your car stolen or be a victim of a hijacking.

Tracker’s Vehicle Crime Index (VCI) for the period of January to June 2023 indicates that hijackings are still the most dominant crime – accounting for 55% of all national vehicle crime incidents, while theft accounts for 45%.

The Tracker Vehicle Crime Index aggregates information from Tracker’s more than 1.1 million subscriptions.

Interestingly, business vehicles are hijacked 65% of the time, compared to theft at 35%, while personal vehicles have a relatively even hijacking-to-theft ratio at around a 50:50 split.

The data further shows that a business vehicle is 59% more likely to experience vehicle crime and 32% more likely to experience hijacking than a personal vehicle – meaning businesses have become the main target for vehicle criminals in South Africa.

According to Tracker, vehicle crime is still a major concern in South Africa, with Gauteng being the most affected province, accounting for 60% of all incidents. KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape follow with 17% and 9% respectively.

When it comes to business vehicle crime, the statistics are similar, with Gauteng being the most affected province at 55%, followed by KwaZulu-Natal at 16% and the Western Cape at 14%.

According to Tracker’s records of customer base of business vehicles, KwaZulu-Natal province has the highest likelihood of encountering vehicle crime, with a rate exceeding the proportional representation of crime incidents by 27%. Gauteng province follows next with a rate exceeding the proportional representation of crime incidents by 16%.

Business vehicles in the Western Cape are at a lower risk of vehicle crime compared to the national business customer base. However, they are six times more likely to be hijacked than stolen. While the province comes second to Gauteng in terms of business vehicle hijacking volume, the hijacking-to-theft ratio in the Western Cape stands at 85% to 15%, said Tracker.

There is also statistically lower business vehicle crime collectively for provinces other than Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape.

However, the crime that occurs in these regions is again skewed towards hijacking, with business vehicles in these areas three times more likely to encounter hijacking versus theft.

Nationwide, a higher proportion of vehicles are reported hijacked on Fridays and between the hours of 11h00 and 15h00. While theft is mainly reported on Saturdays and between the hours of 11h00 and 15h00.

“Crime sophistication varies provincially, usually linked to emerging crime opportunities, such as changes within regional transportation logistics,” says Duma Ngcobo, Chief Operating Officer at Tracker.

“We are currently seeing the emergence of more sophisticated vehicle crime syndicates in Gauteng and escalating violence accompanying vehicle crime in KwaZulu-Natal. Businesses and consumers should remain aware of the risks and always be vigilant on our roads.”

Tracker’s efforts to combat vehicle crime have resulted in 122,518 vehicle recoveries, 20,784 arrests and 1,104 firearms recovered to date.

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