One Durban hijacking reported every day over the past week.
This was the alarming statistic provided by Blue Security who has warned motorists to be on high alert following a spike in Durban hijackings with a new trend of hijackers attempting to abduct drivers in their vehicles.
Blue Security operations director, Brian Jackson said the company had received reports of five hijackings and two attempted hijackings across Durban over the past week alone.
“When considered as an average, that is at least one hijacking being reported to our company every day, and this excludes any additional incidents that we don’t hear of, which may be reported to other local security firms and directly to the police,” Jackson said.
“What has most concerned us about this latest wave of hijackings in the city, is that a trend has emerged in which hijackers are now attempting to abduct motorists in their vehicles.”
Jackson said in at least two of the recent incidents, hijackers had succeeded in abducting their victims, and in a further two cases, suspects had attempted to take motorists with them, but the victims had managed to resist them.
According to Jackson, a contributing factor to the recent increase in hijackings could be due to the advancement of technology, where a coded or fob key is needed to operate a vehicle, which makes the crime somewhat easier with jamming devices. Blue Security statistics on hijacking incidents reported to the firm over the past seven days included the following cases:
• A Springfield motorist was hijacked in his driveway on January 17. Hijackers succeeded in abducting him and eventually dropped him off, beaten but otherwise unharmed, at a shopping centre in Umlazi.
• A Springfield motorist was hijacked when he was ambushed while driving with two other passengers on 14 January. He was eventually dropped off, unharmed, in the nearby business district.
• A Bluff man was shot and injured outside a property during a hijacking when he went to pick up a relative from her home in Merebank on 20 January.
• A motorist was hijacked in Umhlatuzana and managed to get out of the vehicle after hijackers attempted to abduct him on 20 January.
• A Glenmore motorist narrowly escaped an abduction at the hands of hijackers who attempted to bundle him into the boot of his vehicle when they ambushed him in his garage on 15 January.
• A motorist was hijacked by a gang of six balaclava clad suspects in Morningside while she was fetching her son from a school sports event on 18 January.
• A Morningside motorist narrowly escaped being hijacked in his driveway when three suspects jumped over an electric fence and attempted to hold him and his family up on 18 January. He drove through the driveway gates and headed to the Berea police station.
The ploy of taking the motorist with the car has sparked great concern.
Jackson said one of the possible reasons hijackers were attempting to abduct their victims could be because they believed that motorists would have information about their vehicle’s tracking device.
“Hijackers mistakenly assume that motorists must be aware of the location of the tracking device installed by vehicle tracking companies. They take the motorist with them in the hope that they will be able to get the location of the device out of them. The reality is that most motorists should have no idea where the vehicle’s tracking device was installed and will not be able to tell hijackers anything.
“Another reason hijackers abduct their victims is because they hope to stop at an ATM and use their bank PIN to rob them of cash in their bank accounts. Fortunately, while the abduction ordeal is extremely traumatic for victims, in most cases the suspects do eventually drop off their victims unharmed,” Jackson said.
Jackson said most of the hijackings occurred in residential driveways or outside a property between 7pm and 9.30pm when people were arriving home, while one of the incidents occurred in the early hours of the morning and at 7am.