In recent weeks, three incidents of criminals targeting people as they enter their driveways have been reported to ADT Security.
Theunis Kotze, General Manager of ADT Inland Region, urges residents to stay vigilant when entering or exiting their homes. “From the incident reports we have received it appears that these driveway robberies are most often opportunistic. There doesn’t seem to be a pattern in terms of time of day or particular areas being targeted,” he says.
In the first incident the driver of the vehicle was parked in his driveway waiting for the gate to open when a vehicle stopped behind his car and two armed suspects held him at gunpoint, demanding he get out of the car. Fortunately the driver was unharmed and the vehicle later recovered by a tracking company.
In a second incident, a high-profile resident was held up in Craighall while she was waiting for her gate to close. A vehicle tailgated her in and blocked the gate from closing. The suspects fled the scene after taking her Jewellery. Fortunately she was unharmed during the incident.
In a third incident, a resident in Lukasrand, Pretoria, arrived home where once again a vehicle tailgated her in, blocked the gate from closing and three armed suspects demanded the vehicle keys. The suspects took valuables and left in the vehicle. No one was harmed in the incident.
Kotze says in light of these incidents is it crucial that residents be alert and report any suspicious behaviour to ADT or the SAPS immediately.
“Residents need to know who belongs in the vicinity of their homes and workplaces and keep a look out for anything out of the ordinary,” he says.
“When you get home do not turn into your driveway while waiting for your gate to open, park next to your entrance while you open the gate to allow for a quick getaway if necessary. By stopping at your gate in your driveway, you place yourself in a vulnerable position and could get easily boxed in by potential hijackers. Shut your gate immediately behind you. If there is a car behind you wait for the car to pass you before opening your gate.”
Kotze adds that automated gates can be set to close within a certain time and recommends speaking to an electrician as to what your timing is. “Obviously the longer your gate takes to close, the bigger the window of opportunity for criminals.”
“Don’t open the gate and garage at the same time. By doing so you ensure criminals don’t have automatic access to your house too.”
“Most importantly if you think you’re being followed, drive past your gate and contact ADT or the SAPS immediately,” concludes Kotze.