Hijackings is something that is becoming increasingly common in South Africa. It is also becoming more violent and traumatic. Here are some tips for you to follow to try and minimize the risk of becoming a hijacking victim in your driveway and home...
Be aware. If a vehicle is driving behind you, even at a distance down the street, drive around the block. If it is still following you, call it in to your Security Company or local CPF for assistance. Drive to a public location like the closest garage or shopping center. If the vehicle is not following you anymore, attempt the trip home again.
If your gate works with "elbow grease"and not electronic gate motor, do not park in front of your gate get out of your vehicle and open it. Park in the street rather as it would be more difficult for them to box you in when you get back into the car (not parking a100m away, but at your gate as you would start to turn in, ensure there is nobody close by or pedestrians on foot). Always be aware of what is going on around you. If there is a vehicle in the street you don't recognize as that of one of your neighbors, rather drive around the block and go back to your gate again. Do not switch off the engine. Leave it idling, except if you have small children with you (this is the only exception as it would buy valuable seconds to get your loved ones out of the vehicle before the hijackers can drive off). Use the keys in this situation as negotiation tool, but don't be aggressive or forceful. They want the keys, you want your kids. If your children are older,let them exit the vehicle with you so that in the event an attack occur, they are with you and there is no chance of you and your children getting separated in the event the hijackers might attempt to drive off with them.
Whether electronic or manual gate, close the gate as quickly as possible once you drove through. Do not wait until you are in the garage or under the car port before closing the gate. If you are more than one person, have the non-driver open the gate and immediately close it after you drove through. Someone standing by the gate and aware of what is going on in the street might just deter them to not attempt it.
Also, stop just inside the gate and leave your vehicle in reverse gear. This creates confusion and might buy you some extra seconds needed for the gate to close and to avert a potential dangerous situation.
Parked vehicles with occupants in it that you do not recognize in the street can also be a threat and potential hijackers.Rather drive past, look at whom is in the vehicle and if they are still thereafter driving around the block and you feel unsafe, call it in to your Security Company or local CPF for assistance.
Ensure that your driveway is ALWAYS very well lit at night.
Note: The above is just guidelines and does not guarantee that you will not be faced with a potential hijacking situation. Every situation is different and the hijackers do change their modus-operandi from time-to-time.
Wierdabridge Sector 2 CPF
Rooihuiskraal / The Reeds