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SA car-jamming: Users share their shocking experiences

2016-02-04 10:01

CAR-JAMMING IN PROGRESS: South African motoring journalist Juliet McGuire was the victim of car-jamming in Green Point. Image: Youtube

UPDATE: We've received many user responses via email and have updated the article. Thank you to all our users for the fantastic feedback.

Cape Town - On Wednesday, Wheels24 reported that SA motoring journalist, Juliet McGuire, editor of motoring site, Women on Wheels, became the latest victim of local remote-jamming, an ordeal captured on CCTV.

Criminals in South Africa have caught onto an international trend whereby thieves use radio transmitters to interrupt the signal emitted from a car-key and the vehicle's transponder.

Wheels24 users share their car-jamming experiences:

Stevendrury86: I am a member of SAPS and you won't believe how long remote-jammers have been operating in Cape Town and surrounding areas. I caught four of them red-handed a few months ago, they went to court and got released on bail. Two days later one of them, a woman and whom we think is the ring leader, were caught again for the same thing. Guess what, they're released on bail.

You need to see the files we build-up against them but the justice system just fails us! (Wheels24 has since contacted officer Steven and will publish a follow-up)

Ben Potgieter: Remote-jamming happened to my girlfriend in Ashton, Western Cape on January 20 2016 at a fuel station. She couldn't lock her car with the remote and had to manually lock the vehicle car.

Janet Palmer: Yes, we were victims. At Southdowns shopping center in Pretoria, back in 2014. They stole my husband's expensive, newly bought sunglasses and some money. All in view of our car guard.

Haig Summers: It has always been the case with a remote for ANYTHING, cars,garage doors, gates etc.

The remote sends a coded signal to the receiver which decodes and locks or unlocks. If the receiver gets more than one signal it will simultaneously get the correct one and the incorrect one, which when combined is incorrect, therefore no action. For example the car stays unlocked which is what the perpetrator wants. The perp sits around with a similar incorrectly coded remote manages to block the correct remotes request.

It is critically important to observe the result of your remote action.

Have you witnessed or been the victim of car-jamming? Email us and we’ll publish your experience on Wheels24.

Read: Car-jamming - watch what could happen to you

Jacques de Beer: On December 17 2015 at Makro, Silverlakes, about 10:15am, I stopped with my Fortuner Toyota in the parking lot. I secured my steering lock and locked my car.

About 10min later I was called via the microphone in Makro giving announcing my car registration number and that I should go to my vehicle asap. I was very lucky that a car guard caught the guy in my vehicle. The guy ran to a get-away vehicle and drove away with nothing taken. The criminals where chased and skipped a robot resulting in a accident when they hit a truck.

The vehicle they where driving in was reported stolen. The guards showed me how jamming works. They take any other key hold the lock button in and when you press your lock button it doesn't lock your vehicle at all. I used that on a friend's new car and was shocked by what could happen. 

Richard Speechly: I had the same experience in the same parking lot in 2015. Locked my car, went into Spar, came out and the car wouldn’t unlock. I had no idea what was happening. I waited next to the car for a few minutes and then i could unlock my car. Very very scary!

Priscilla-Polokwane: I had my car jammed in 2015. It was the day after Valentines day. I am one those people who always checks her car after locking by pulling the door handles just to make sure but on this day I was on the phone when I got out of the car. I guess I forgot to do my usual checks. Unlucky for me, that day I had my husband's laptop, my laptop, external hard drives (with so much information) in the vehicle. They took it all. They took everything from the car.

When I got back to the car, I didn't notice anything and I was still on the phone so I didn't notice when I unlocked it that it was already open. I drove for almost 3 hours without checking until I got to the office and had to use my laptop. Tjoo it was the worst day I've ever had.

Vanessa: Yes it happened to me in Port Elizabeth on January 30. I parked inside a fenced area at a furniture shop (there was a security guard at the gate). After I returned, after an hour, I found my car unlocked. My bag with all its contents was stolen (drivers license, ID, bank cards, clothing store cards, work keys etc). Had to quickly contact all stakeholders to either cancel or renew my cards.

Bronwyn Gerber: This happened to me. I stay in Alberton and went to a new gym that had just opened. Unfortunately they did not have cameras as were are waiting for approval from the land lord. I went to the Gym at 05:15am. I locked my vehicle with the remote key and went into the building.

My laptop was in the boot of my car. I left the gym at 06:20am. On arriving at work I went to look for my laptop and to my surprise discovered an empty boot.

I felt like I had lost my mind - you know where you left your laptop yet it has just disappeared. I went through the whole process of searching my office and house just to make sure that I was still sane.  

This is apparently not the only incident in the area. Now I lock my vehicle and just as a safety precaution give my  door handle a tug to make sure that I have not been jammed.

Sonwabo Ntusikazi: I reside in PE. On January 25 2016, I parked my car at Greenacres mall in PE. I am definitely sure that I did lock my car (Mercedes-Benz) but to my surprise when I got to the car it was not locked and all my valuables were gone.

I have opened the case but on investigation the mall tolled the detective that the cameras where I parked my car were not working due to construction.

Steven Ridge: I just wanted to share my experience of car-jamming. I fell victim to that crime about a year and a half ago at the Platteloof village shopping centre in the Northern suburbs of Cape Town. I suffered some serious loss of possessions one of which was a week-old Apple Laptop.

I reported it to centre management and the footage clearly showed the incident taking place. The SAP were informed but failed to arrive. Eventually I went down to the Parow police station and reported the incident. Never to hear another word from them again. A few weeks later a car-jamming gang was apprehended at the Table View shopping cente which was posted on Facebook. I recognised the vehicle as being the same one that was involved in my incident.

I then telephoned the Parow Police station and eventually got hold of the appointed detective. I gave them info. A few months later he called to say that these car-jamming criminals were appearing in court however he could not make it to present further evidence in court. So I will leave you to conclude what happened.

Munowar Tayob: It happened to me at an Engen garage in Durban, I think it was in Springfield park. I went to eat at a restaurant at the garage. The garage owners were useless. I got a feeling the garage workers were involved.

Have you witnessed or been the victim of car-jamming? Email us and we’ll publish your experience on Wheels24.

Read more on:    green point  |  cape town  |  crime  |  theft

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