In June, vehicle tracking company Ctrack released data on the most hijacked vehicles in South Africa.
According to the group the VW Polo is the most hijacked passenger vehicle in the country, while the Toyota Fortuner is the most hijacked SUV, and Ford is the third most targeted manufacturer.
The most targeted cars tend to line up with the most popular cars on the road, Ctrack said, with the Polo Vivo, Fortuner and various Ford models featuring among the best-selling vehicles.
Speaking to BusinessTech, Fidelity ADT indicated that the same brands and manufacturers are also likely to be used by criminals in the actual hijackings.
“We cannot speculate, but very often VW and Toyota (are used), because they are very common vehicle brands, and have been used in hijackings/and vehicle robberies,” said a Fidelity ADT spokesperson.
“We can only assume this may be because they are nondescript and easy to blend into the crowd after committing a crime.”
This extends to the age, colour and other distinguishing features of the vehicles which hijackers will try to make look as nondescript as possible, Fidelity ADT said.
What to look out for
While South African hijackers are purposely trying to look as least suspicious as possible, there are still a number of indicators to look out for said Fidelity ADT.
It is important to remain aware of your surroundings, as the vehicle you are focusing on may not be the one that ends up hijacking you, it said.
“Vehicles are usually occupied by four or more occupants in most instances and also often work in teams,” it said.
“These secondary vehicles are either a “spotter and an actioner” or merely co-ordinating attacks.”
They could also be used as a vehicle to block your path and any means of escape, the security company said.
What to do then if you have established that you are being followed
Fidelity ADT laid out the following tips once you have established that you are being followed:
- Make sure you have an emergency number on your phone, you need to know who you want to phone in an emergency and dial that number immediately. If possible let somebody know that you are being followed and try and give them as much information as possible. Ask them to alert 10111.
- Try to keep as calm as possible and stay focused on getting to a safe place
- Do not try and communicate with that vehicle in any way
- Slow down – it is harder to follow somebody that is driving slowly but just keep moving
- Turn your radio down so you are fully aware of your surroundings.
- Put you headlights on bright and put your hazards on, day or night as you want to attract as much attention as possible and scare away the would be hijackers.
- Do not go home – don’t show them where you live
- Head for a busy place if possible like 24-hour garages, hospital, police station etc where it is more difficult to follow you in and where there may be surveillance cameras.