Gauteng - A Roodepoort family was left car-less after a brazen gang of thugs hijacked them in their driveway.
According to the Roodepoort Northsider, the family of four returned home after attending a family function when they were attacked and assaulted on their own property.
The mother opened up to the newspaper, saying: “In just two minutes, they caused absolute havoc. My eldest daughter had to experience her second gun robbery incident within two years.
"They demanded the Mercedes-Benz, ordered me to give them my earrings and gold bangles before forcing us out of the car. Thereafter they started assaulting my husband and then took off."
Hair-raising two minutes
When the family pulled up to their driveway, they waited for the electric gate to open. The Mercedes-Benz pulled into the driveway, but as the gate closed a red Volkswagen Golf 2 stopped in front of the gate.
And it's then when things went wrong for the family.
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Three armed men leaped from the car while the driver remained seated. One of the assailants stopped the gate from closing with his shoulder and when the husband jumped out of the car to confront the men, the gate-man pointed a gun at him. Fortunately no shots were fired.
The husband then goes around the front of the car, runs up to one of the men and gets confrontational with him.
The armed men forces the wife and two daughters out of the car, and proceeds to drive away in the family's car.
Interestingly, throughout the entirety of the two-minute video there was movement in the background. Yet no one stopped or looked to be doing anything to assist the distraught family.
To read the full story on the Roodepoort Northsider, click here.
Do you have any harrowing stories of being hijacked in your driveway? Email us or reach us via Facebook and Twitter.
Lives are priority
According to the MD of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, many drivers are caught unaware: “Keep an eye on people at intersections (or unfamiliar cars in your neighbourhood). Be careful of people who might be trying to distract you.
"Never disregard someone because they are well dressed. Most hijackers are the well-dressed, inconspicuous people possibly reading newspapers at the corner.”
If you are approached by a hijacker keep your hands visible at all times. Herbert also recommends knowing what to do in a hijacking before it happens especially if you have children.
READ: Quick-thinking driver avoids hijack: Here's how you can protect yourself
He said: “Decide on a key word which will galvanise your children into action. Their objective should be to get to the driver as quickly as possible.
“Older children should help younger children to the front and they should safely follow the adult out the same door. Vacating the driver’s seat to unbuckle children from the back leaves too great an opportunity for the hijacker to slip into that seat and drive off before your children are safely out."
“Your life is not worth the price of your car. The main thing that both of you want is for the hijacker to be gone as quickly as possible. Every reaction you have during a hijacking should be with the aim of ending the interaction as soon as possible.”
THE HIJACKERS: These are the men that hijacked the Roodepoort family. Image: YouTube
14 Tips to help avoid a hijacking:
1 When approaching your vehicle, keep your key ready but not visible. Unlock your car when you're close by.
2 Check the rear seat before getting into your car.
3 A well-maintained car is less likely to break down and leave you vulnerable.
4 Plan your route and let someone know what your route is and when to expect you at your destination.
5 Always check the rear-view mirror to see if you are being followed.
6 Avoid driving with your windows open and keep the doors locked. Put all valuables out of sight.
7 Avoid distractions while driving such as using a cellphone.
READ: Hijacking in SA: Here's how you can protect yourself
8 If you suspect you are being followed, drive to your nearest police station or a busy public area.
9 When approaching a red traffic light, slow down so that you only reach it when it turns green.
10 Make sure your driveway is well lit and clear of shrubbery.
11 If possible, park in a central, well-lit place, preferably with guards on duty.
12 When stopping behind another vehicle, leave half a vehicle length in front so you can make an emergency escape if necessary.
13 Change your routes and your schedule if possible on a regular basis.
14 Make arriving at your destination safer by calling ahead and asking someone to open and close your gate for you.