Big spike in vehicle-related crime

Theft out of motor vehicle and vehicle robberies have increased significantly in the Johannesburg South area over the last two months, says Linda Reeder, Community Development Manager, Fidelity ADT.

Criminals are targeting vehicles that are parked outside of properties, either on the road or on the pavement. “It takes just 5 minutes to steal a vehicle and 30 seconds to break a window and steal goods from your car. We implore all of our residents to be especially vigilant,” says Reeder.

There also seems to be a spike on weekend. “Criminals know that some vehicles are vulnerable, because they can hear the laughter and smell the braai and know that the owners are pre-occupied and will not be coming out to the vehicle for at least an hour or two. “Rather park your vehicle inside. It takes a few minutes longer, but let’s be safe and not make things easier for the criminals,” she says.

It is especially important not to leave valuable items inside the car where they can be seen from the window. Rather lock these items in the boot so that it is out of the eye sight of inquisitive thieves. Criminals are especially after laptops, targeting people who stop at the shops after work on their way home in the early evening,” she says. The same applies to people who stop at the gym or the sportsground on their way home. “When you park your car at shopping centres or at the gym, please make sure it is in full view of the general public and that you have double checked that your vehicle is locked. The fact the evenings get dark earlier, make it easier to criminals to prey on unsuspecting motorists,” says Reeder.

jReeder also reminds residents to keep their boots locked at all times when on the road, “otherwise it is very easy while you are parked in traffic for the criminals to just open your boot and grab and run. Criminals are becoming very shrewd and know

when people drive they sometimes forget that their boot is still open if it does not automatically lock.”

In summary:

* Don’t park your vehicle outside when paying a visit to friends and family

* Park in well-lit and crowded areas or were your vehicle is in plain sight

* Remove all valuables from your vehicle, even when you go to the gym

* Make sure that your vehicle is locked

* Change your routes regularly when you leave/return home from errands or work

* Don’t use your mobile devices while driving

* If you suspect you are being followed, drive to the nearest SAPS station