How often does it happen? What dangers does it expose us to?
The following common sense guidance is offered to help reduce your chances of being involved in such a traumatic experience. If it unfortunately does happen, here are some hints on how to manage the situation in a manner that does not provoke the assailants.
Sensible precautions to minimize creating car-jacking opportunities:
- Anybody can be a victim. Car-hijackers may strike anywhere, and at lightning speed. No area/suburb is immune.
- Car-hijackers will prefer to target stationary vehicles, so do not stop unnecessarily and if you must stop, always try to do so in well-lit centers.
- Places that are most prone to car-hijackings are stop-junctions, ATM centres, outside your gate at home, roadside kiosks, stopping your vehicle to make a mobile phone call, drop off/picking up points for your children. Avoid visiting roadside ATMs if possible, and be extra careful when you have to stop, making sure that you can drive off quickly. Basically try never to stop at the side of the road for whatever reason.
- When approaching your gate look out for strangers loitering nearby. Drive on if you are in doubt or call the Ultimate Emergency number, or go to the nearest Police station.
- Keep checking your rear view mirror to make sure nobody is following you. Drive to a Police station if you are suspicious.
- With the availability of vehicle tracking technology, a new breed of car-hijackers has come up whose aim is not really the car, but to rob the contents of the vehicle and to drive to an ATM point and force you to withdraw as much money as it will allow. Do not carry your ATM card around with you at night if you can avoid it. Try never to carry any banking details on you.
- Avoid regular and predictable schedules in your movements (not very easy, but it helps).
- After leaving a dinner party always informs your hosts of your arrival at your destination.
- In traffic, ensure all doors are locked and windows wound up.
- If you break down call us immediately on our mobile phone emergency numbers. This is a free service for our Clients and their families.
- Maintain a good distance between yourself and the vehicle ahead of you.
- If possible travel with your dog(s) – they are a deterrent. Vehicles with more than two passengers are also less vulnerable.
- The majority of hijackings happen between 17:00 and 21:00 hours.
- If a gun is being pointed at you, do not try and race off in your vehicle as assailants will be nervous and inclined to shoot at a vehicle attempting to escape.
What to do in a hi-jacking incident:
In the event that all the above precautions fail and you happen to be hijacked, please note the following advice:
- Do not try and escape in your car as in the past the thugs have fired at fleeing vehicles with tragic results.
- Do not show any sign of resistance, and avoid eye contact. Your personal safety is more important than your money or your car!
- Be aware that there will normally be at least two hijackers even if you only see one.
- Do not impulsively try to fight your way out of the situation, and DO NOT SCREAM! Car-hijackings in this country usually involve firearms and you will not have much chance to scrutinize whether it is a genuine firearm or a toy.
- Make sure you inform the assailants of everything you do, for instance warn them in advance of hand movements such as releasing the seatbelt. Always hold your hands in view.
- Follow their instructions and co-operate with them. They rarely want to kill but will have no qualms in doing so if they meet the slightest resistance. They will always want to drive you to another location far enough away to give them adequate time to escape.
- If possible, make a mental note about your captors e.g. description, conversation, and if you are moved, memorize the length of transit, direction, any familiar sounds, smells or landmarks along the way.
- If after three months you are still shaken, seek counseling.
By Ultimate Security Limited