The dangers of hijacking, smash-and-grabs and vehicle theft are an all too obvious reality for most South African motorists. And while it’s hardly a new thing, remote jamming has become the scourge of daily life as keeping personal possessions safe remains a priority.
“You don’t even have to follow crime statistics to know that we live in dangerous times. While it might not quite be the Wild West yet, a 2016/17 Victims of Crime Survey shows there were almost 43 000 incidents of thefts of motor vehicles for the period April to March last year,” said a spokesperson at Matrix, a company providing vehicle tracking and stolen vehicle recovery products.
“And that’s not even factoring in almost 130 000 cases of theft out of vehicles and slightly more than 31 000 cases of motor vehicle vandalism.”
Matrix added that with the pressure on consumers, there’s always the off chance that insurers won’t pay out any claims resulting from incidents caused by car jamming.
“They’re quick to point to the inevitable terms and conditions legalities of our policy documents. Fortunately, and perhaps because of the prevalence of these instances, many of them have softened their approach. But what does vehicle jamming entail and how can we protect ourselves?”
A few tips to minimise the threat of car jamming:
- Make sure your car is locked before walking away. It really doesn’t take long to pull on your door handle and double check
- Don’t leave your laptop, handbag or sunglasses lying around in your car for all to see. Ideally, there should be no valuables in your vehicle. Realistically, this is not always possible so at least lock them in your boot – out of sight
- This stands to reason but try and park in a crowded area. Criminals love dark alleyways or at least remote areas of a parking lot where there isn’t a lot of traffic or people to sample potential wares
- Avoid leaving documents like bills, ID books or registration papers lying around in your car. Criminals can use that info for identity theft or, at worst, find out where you live
- When walking back to your car, have your keys at the ready so you don’t spend unnecessary time fiddling with things before you leave. And be extra vigilant if you need to strap any youngsters into their car seats as this is the ideal time to get attacked.
Have you been a victim of car jamming? Share your thoughts by emailing [email protected]