Following the recent civil unrest in Gauteng and Kwazulu Natal, more South Africans are resorting to online shopping to keep safe. Increasingly communities are ordering groceries and other goods online.
Charnel Hattingh: Head of Marketing & Communication of Fidelity ADT says, “Unfortunately criminals are aware of this and Courier vans are being targeted. There are two types of modus Operandi, either the criminals pretend to be delivering goods and then rob unsuspecting residents or they target courier vans making legitimate deliveries.
Last week five suspects pretending to be couriers in two vehicles, stopped at a residence in Observatory. The resident opened the gate as she was expecting a delivery. The suspects held her at gunpoint tied her up and fled the scene stealing 1 Laptop, 1 Plasma TV, 1 Remote, Wallet, Bank Cards & R1000 cash and a Silver Audi.
Hattingh says, “Unfortunately we have seen an increase in Courier vans being targeted in the across Gauteng. Criminals are using this increased traffic to target these vehicles. Criminals are after the goods being delivered so please protect yourselves,” she says.
“It is important to be vigilant when accepting deliveries. If you are expecting deliveries please be aware of your surroundings, limit the amount of cash you carry – make sure you have the correct amount on you. Don’t wear expense jewellery and leave your cell phone in the house. We are urging all residents to be careful when receiving goods.”
She offered the following additional safety tips:
- Do not open the gate, even if you are expecting a delivery. Rather sign for your goods through the gate and be absolutely sure there is no around before opening your gate to retrieve your goods
- It is advisable to install a second security measure such as a security gate with an intercom at the front door. This gives you a second level of defense and possible a few minutes more to press the panic button if need be
- For your safety and the safety of the driver make sure the area is well lit at night. Carry a torch with you for extra visibility
- Lastly remember the social distancing rules and always wear a mask
- Make sure your children are inside when you accept a delivery for their own safety
Panic buttons are key, she adds, saying that residents should have easy access to a button if a crisis arises. “It’s no use if panic buttons are put in a cupboard somewhere and forgotten about. They need to be easily accessible and we recommend that you have them in a pocket or hanging around your neck for quick access. Panic buttons should also be checked regularly to ensure they are in good working condition,” concludes Hattingh.