In this blog you’ll learn more about crime hotspots on SA roads, tips to avoid a smash-and-grab, find out what to do if you’ve witnessed such a crime and learn where to keep your handbag safe from snatchers.
Believe it or not – to an extent, it is possible to avoid becoming a target of a smash-and-grab incident. If you keep your car doors locked and remain vigilant of potential distractions, you’re already better off than the average driver. According to South African crime stats, a total of 125 076 smash-and-grab incidents have been reported from April 2018 to March 2019. That’s a shocking number, especially if you take into consideration the fact that a portion of these could have been avoided with the necessary precautionary measures and self-education. We’ve got the info which might help with the latter, so keep reading. 😉
So, what’s a smash-and-grab?
According to Arrive Alive, a smash and grab is a criminal activity characterized by smashing through some sort of barrier (e.g. vehicle window) while the car is stationary at traffic lights or stuck in slow moving traffic and grabbing something of value (e.g. jackets, handbags, laptops, etc) from the victim’s car.
Police spokesperson, Captain Augustinah Selepe, says “Smash-and-grab criminals are targeting female drivers with handbags with valuables in front and back seats of the car. These criminals further target cars with open windows or drivers speaking on their mobile phones.”
Smash-and-grab hotspots in SA
Snatchers mainly target drivers in big cities. The following areas are classified as hotspots:
How to avoid a smash-and-grab
SA crime stats reveal that mainly female drivers fall victim to smash-and-grab incidents. Distracted drivers on their mobile phones or those driving with open windows are also easier targets for these criminals. As evident in the smash-and-grab hotspots listed here, drivers in big cities like Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town are more at risk.
What the eye doesn’t see, the heart doesn’t grieve. This especially holds true for the valuables in your car. The floorboard, dashboard and seats of your car aren’t good places on which to leave your precious belongings. Instead, hide your valuables to keep them out of sight from wandering criminal eyes. Keep your handbag, laptop and other chunky valuables in the car’s boot for added peace of mind. If you cannot part with your handbag for the trip, prop it under your seat (if there’s space).
A few more tips…
What to do if you witness a smash-and-grab attack
Drive safe and remember to always be vigilant when you’re behind the steer.
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