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Alert driver shoots back at hijackers: 13 life-saving tips

2017-01-31 09:37

FIGHTING BACK: Watch as a potential victim of crime gives a couple of hijackers a taste of their own medicine and fights back.Image: YouTube

Cape Town - What could've been yet another grim tale of hijacking in SA has turned into a remarkable story of fighting back against criminals.

Despite South African's horrendous road death toll and high prevalence of vehicle crime, some among us are not content to be yet another statistic as a video show. 

A video posted by 'Police Pics and Clips' shows a Mercedes-Benz driver taking action against potential hijackers. The driver talks viewers through the incident and says he noticed a blue Volkswagen Golf following him as he pulled into his driveway. 

A security guard at the front gate attempts to stop the hijackers from entering the residence but the perpetrators soon had him on his knees at gunpoint.

READ: Hijacking hotspots in SA - Joburg, Pretoria, Cape Town & Durban

The hijackers were in for a surprise as the driver fought back using his own firearm, and can be heard saying on the clip that he had to project his children who were with him in the car.  

Once the driver fires a few shots, the perpetrator on foot can be seen fleeing from the premises and gets back into the Golf, fleeing the scene. 

This clip is only but one example of all the hijackings taking place in the country. Hijackings are on the rise in South Africa since 2015, and more than 14 600 incidents have been reported since then. Statistics show that up to 40 cars are hijacked every day in South Africa. 

Sad reality of SA's roads

Earlier in November 2016, Wheels24 reported that a quick-thinking driver in Durban also avoided a possible hijack/armed-robbery.

Security-camera footage reveals the moment armed men attempted to box his vehicle in his driveway and the driver's quick-reaction in avoiding the criminals.

After arriving home around 11pm, the driver can be seen pulling up to his driveway in a Mercedes-Benz A-Class and waiting for his electronic gate to open.

READ: Hijack Prevention guidelines

As he attempts to pull into his driveway, a white Volkswagen Golf GTI pulls up behind him.

In the video, posted by News24 via Arrive Alive, the driver said: "I saw these guys and thought 'Let me come quickly in the yard'. I saw the car coming and I waited. I went a little forward and then I stopped. I saw that car (pulling up behind me) and then I saw that guy jumping out of the car!"

READ: Hijacking hotspots in SA - Joburg, Pretoria, Cape Town & Durban

Click here for the full story

The video was first posted by:

Hijackings in SA

MasterDrive says while the majority of hijackings do occur outside your home, it is important to remember this is not the only place. A large percentage of hijackings occur at intersections, which is why drivers should be as aware at intersections as what they are when arriving home. 

According to the MD of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, many drivers are caught unaware: “Keep an eye on people at intersections. 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.”

READ: Bizarre road-crime tactic in SA - a 'hijack doll'?

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.

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."

Herbert adds: “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.”

If you would like to find out what you can do to try avoid being hijacking or how to react in one if you cannot, contact MasterDrive on 086 110 0618. They have anti-hijack courses which are facilitated by professionals with firsthand experience with hijackings.

Have you had any hijacking experiences? Email us or reach us via Facebook  and Twitter.

Tips to avoid being hijacked

Arrive Alive lists the following crucial tips on avoiding being hijacked when approaching and entering your driveway.

 1 2km from your house strategy. Be extra alert. Switch off the car radio and concentrate on your surroundings.

  2 Remember to stop your vehicle just on the inside of the gate and select reverse whilst waiting for the gate to close. This creates confusion and may buy you a few seconds for the gate to close completely behind you.

  3 Check your driveway and street before you leave or enter your premises.

  4 Make sure your driveway is well lit and clear from shrubbery where perpetrators can hide.

  5 Be aware of unknown pedestrians close to your residential address - do not turn into your driveway - pass and go back later.

  6 Liaise with your neighbours - know them.

READ: Crime in SA - This clip shows why you shouldn't leave your car unlocked

  7 Be aware of vehicles parked close to your address with occupants inside. It might be perpetrators observing the area.

  8 Be alert if your animals do not greet you at the gate as usual. It might be that the perpetrators over-powered them.

  9 Phone your home and ask for someone to make sure your driveway is safe and to open and close the gate for you.

  10 When returning home after dark, ensure that an outside light is on, or have someone meet you at the gate. Check with your armed response company if they are rendering rendezvous services.

  11 If at any time you have to open the gate yourself, make sure nobody suspicious around and the road is clear. Stop right in front of your gate. Do not switch off the vehicle, leave the key in the ignition, get out and close the door (not creating temptation). Then open the gate. Drive in and close the gate immediately behind you.

  12 If you have small children in the vehicle, take the key with you (this is the only exception).  You need the key as a “negotiating tool”.  The perpetrators want your vehicle and you want your children.

  13 If your children are older, it is advised that they exit the vehicle with you when opening the gate so that you are all separated from the vehicle should an attack occur.

For more of Arrive Alive's hijack prevention tips, click here.

Have you had any hijacking experiences? Email us or reach us via Facebook  and Twitter.


Image: iStock

14 more 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.

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.

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