As we start the beginning of a new year, motorists and residents in the Fourways, Douglasdale, Chartwell, Magaliesig and Midrand areas are advised to remain vigilant as reports of a dangerous gang committing violent crimes have been reported in the area.
In one instance a resident was shot in the shoulder in an attempted follow-home robbery. Details of the suspects car have been forwarded to the local SAPS who are on high alert.
Danny Maringa, Fidelity ADT Community Development Manager says these days criminals are so professional at what they do, you will probably not even realise that you are being followed. Suspects appear to be on the lookout for smart watches and jewellery and residents are once again reminded not to venture out where possible with any flashy jewellery or expensive watches.
“Spotters at restaurants, in shopping malls and parking areas are a real problem resulting in follow homes and robberies,” says Maringa. He says the problem is that this can escalate even further into a hijacking or house robbery.
- Keep expensive watches covered and avoid wearing flashy jewellery when out and about
- Always be aware and vigilant of your surroundings
- When leaving a restaurant or shopping centre be on the lookout for anyone that could possibly be following you
- If you believe you are being followed drive to the closest police station or security provider guard house if there is any doubt.
- Try to keep as calm as possible and stay focused on getting to a safe place
- Do not try and communicate with that vehicle in any way
- Slow down – it is harder to follow somebody that is driving slowly but just keep moving
- Turn your radio down so you are fully aware of your surroundings.
- Put you headlights on bright and put your hazards on, day or night as you want to attract as much attention as possible and scare away the would be hijackers.
- Do not go home – don’t show them where you live
- Head for a busy place if possible like 24 hour garages, hospital, police station etc where it is more difficult to follow you in and where there may be surveillance cameras.
“At the end of the day staying alert is probably the most important tip. Too often we are distracted which makes us vulnerable to criminal activity,” concludes Maringa.