Hijacking Hotspots: Three Places You Should Practice Extra Caution


Accounts of violent hijackings from across the nation have been flooding news headlines over the past month, with terrifying incidents reported in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Pretoria and in our very own backyard, Durban. Many of these reports concern the brazen manner in which these often heavily armed gangs are targeting their victims. Although you should practice caution at all times while out driving, we’ve outlined the top three hijacking hotspots according to most recent reports, and how to counteract this threat.

1. Driveways

Often top of the list of hijacking hotspots, driveways are the prime spot for carjackers to pounce on unsuspecting residents leaving or returning home. It would appear that the “stay-at-home” mandate has only served to perpetuate this tactic, by making residents’ movements more predictable. In an incident that occurred last week Thursday, a woman was ambushed by two hijackers while still parked inside her property in the Ashley, Pinetown area. *Safety Tips: When arriving home never place yourself in a position in which another vehicle can trap you by parking you in. Rather pull up alongside your property, open the gate fully, and then turn into your driveway. Once inside, close the gate behind you immediately before driving  further into your driveway. Your home environment can lull you into a false sense of security when it comes to hijackings. Practice the same level of care leaving home that you would when arriving home. Don’t linger in the driveway, remain vigilant, and reduce the chances of criminals breaking into the property by improving your security measure with electric fencing and an anti-gate-crashing kit.

2. Outside Schools

When you are dropping the kids off or fetching them from school you are most likely preoccupied and not fully aware of your surroundings. In a recent incident in Northdene, a mother was fortunately left unharmed after falling victim to a hijacking that occurred outside of a school, whilst arriving to collect her children in the afternoon. *Safety Tip: Do not assume that you are safe in a public scenario. With desperation criminals have become increasingly brazen, taking any opportunity they can to target vulnerable motorists. Do not linger when dropping or fetching your children from school, move swiftly and with purpose, remaining vigilant at all times.

3. Petrol Stations

Another popular spot for hijackings, petrol stations make unsuspecting motorists an easy target. The CCTV footage below shows a hijacking incident that occurred at a petrol station just last week and proves just how quickly criminals can operate. By remaining calm and obeying the hijackers instructions, this victim was able to avoid a violent confrontation and was fortunate to escape without being injured. *Safety Tip: Motorists are generally at their most vulnerable when fueling up, which means that this is no time to let your guard down. Avoid sitting on your phone and pay careful attention to the behaviour of not only other drivers around you, but the pedestrians as well. Remember, although these are the hijacking hotspots, criminals will always be on the look out for any opportunity to target you. Remain vigilant at all times and stay safe


Yellowwood Park Home Owner Defends Against Brick-Wielding Robbers

Durban residents are cautioned to upgrade security in and around their homes as the nature of home invasions escalate in vindictiveness and intent.

“A home invasion in Yellowwood Park this week illustrates to what lengths criminals will go in order to grab the valuables inside a home,” said Security community and media liaison officer, Andreas Mathios.

“The homeowner had heard thudding noises from the balcony at around 5am and then heard his external beams being activated. He proceeded with caution to investigate and saw two shadows on the balcony outside,” Mathios said. “As he activated his Security panic app the sliding-door glass shattered. The resident had just entered the living room in time to see the intruders shoulder-charging the door. When this proved unsuccessful they threw a brick which totally shattered the glass on impact,” he said.

“A confrontation then ensued between the resident and the two intruders as they entered the house. One suspect grabbed the TV and set off out the door while the second intruder was involved in a wrestling match with the elderly homeowner,” he said. “The resident was successful in stabbing one suspect before the two intruders fled off the balcony and across the road into a wooden bushy area,” he said.

“A Security reaction officer arrived at the scene as the resident was wrestling with the intruder and hesitated in firing shots as the homeowner was also in range. The suspect fled the scene,” he said. “This incident highlights the fact that housebreaking criminals are not showing caution or stealth when breaking and entering, and will use whatever they can to gain access, be it brute force or using implements for the task. They are relentless and show no fear,” he said.

“A search after the incident revealed that the suspects entered the property by cutting the electric fencing at the rear of the property. They then placed a branch in front of the sensor in an effort to prevent it activating when in fact this triggered the beams,” he said. “They then proceeded to the sliding door and began shoulder-charging the window in an attempt to enter the home,” he said. The only item taken was a flatscreen TV. Investigations are continuing.

A housebreaking suspect in Glenwood on the Berea didn’t have it so lucky on Monday afternoon when he injured himself while attempting to flee and was subsequently arrested.

“A Blue Security reaction officer had been despatched in response to an alarm activation and on arrival heard cries coming from within the house,” Mathios said. “Backup was requested and additional units, including the Tactical Team members arrived. The suspect took off on seeing the arrival of the Blue Security response units and began jumping from property to property. A neighbour was assaulted during his attempt to evade arrest,” Mathios said.

“The suspect was eventually cornered a few streets away and immediately apprehended,” he said. “A laptop was recovered in his possession which was positively identified by the clients whose property had been invaded.
Members of Umbilo SAPS attended the scene. The suspect was handed over with injuries to his leg that he had sustained whilst fence-hopping between properties,” he said.

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