Driveway robberies on the increase

Be alert and aware in your driveway.

Over the last three months, more than 25 per cent of all driveway robberies within the ADT footprint have taken place in Ekurhuleni suburbs, prompting the security provider to once again issue an alert to homeowners in these areas.

“Germiston, Kempton Park and Edenvale have been particularly hard hit.

“We know that over 60 per cent of all hijackings take place close to home so it is vital homeowners know what to look out for in order to prevent falling prey to hijackers,” said Theunis Kotze, ADT general manager inland region.

Kotze said they were particularly concerned to see the increase in hijackings at secure complexes in these suburbs.

“Research shows that most people relax the closer they get to home and this is often when they are most vulnerable. Being aware of your surroundings and knowing how to respond if you find yourself in a hijacking or armed robbery situation is critical,” said Kotze.

ADT urge homeowners to remember the following hints and tips:

  • If you suspect you are being followed, put your indicator on and slow down at least two to three houses prior to your home. If you are being followed, you will force the vehicle behind you to pass and this could cause the criminals to lose interest.
  • If you need to stop in your driveway to manually open the gate, always leave the key in the ignition and the motor running – unless you have a child in the car. Only then should you take the key with you as you open the gate. The key is a valuable negotiating tool – they want your car and you want your child.

“Over the last three months we experienced a number of hijackings where homeowners got out of their cars to check a faulty gate and experienced an ‘opportunistic’ hijacking,” Kotze said.

  • Always remain vigilant when returning from a shopping centre or bank.
  • If you stay in a secure complex with security guards, do not be fooled into thinking you are safe. The majority of vehicle hijackings happen at the complex gate. A normal gate will take 18 seconds to open, which leaves drivers vulnerable.

In the unfortunate event that you are hijacked, how do you give your car over in a non-threatening manner?

The first and golden rule, Kotze says, is to not antagonise the hijackers who are probably more scared than you are.

“You need to show them you are not a threat. Lift up your arms to show you have no weapon and will surrender. Use your left arm to undo your seatbelt and put your car in neutral.

“Do not turn your car off and get out slowly. Try and angle your body sideways so you are not facing a firearm head-on. Also, remember to protect your head with your arms and avoid direct eye contact with the hijackers. Most importantly, try to remain calm.”


Other articles you may be interested in:

Attempted smash-and-grab in Germiston

Couple hijacked in driveway

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