Insecurity is one of the main problems for most African countries. Crimes against property are the ones that most harm the population’s personal finances as they mean money loss in their assets. Within this category, carjacking is one of the most usual practices for criminals.
The case of South Africa is particularly worrying considering the latest statistics: in the country, 1 car is stolen every 22 minutes, this means that, on average, 72 cars can be taken from their owners per day because of crime.
The truth is that, after the lockdown ended, car stealing levels have increased in SA. The principal reasons are related to cars going back to the streets -being more exposed to robbers- and also because of the high rates of poverty that tends to promote higher crime levels. In this context, 2022 reports have shown a 14% growth in car thefts from April to June when comparing to the 2021’s same period.
How can we protect our cars from being stolen?
First of all, it is important to be aware about some current practices related to carjacking according to the information provided by the Local Police. As it’s been informed, these thieves are becoming tech-savvy and taking advantage of the latest techniques to take control of the cars. There have also been reported crimes when robbers have stolen cars with people -even kids- sitting inside them.
So, here are some tips for being protected from carjacking, or at least for helping reduce negative consequences:
- If possible, always try to avoid parking the car in isolated areas. Look for illuminated spaces or busy areas, where other people would notice if something strange is happening with your car.
- Keep the house driveway well-lit with security cameras, so entering the car will be safer.
- If the car doesn’t provide it, invest in a strong security system to make it more difficult for thieves to have access to the car.
- It is also a good idea to install a GPS tracker. In this case, the device won’t prevent the car from being stolen but it would really help you to track the vehicle and potentially recover it. In this case it is always suggested to give notice to the police before tracking the car, as it could be dangerous.
- Take out an insurance with coverage for this kind of incident. Again, this advice doesn´t reduce the risk of being robbed, but it certainly reduces the damages. Having insurance allows you to ask for compensation whenever a car is stolen. In these cases, companies usually pay for the car’s market price.
Car models also influence the possibility of being stolen. Some models are just more likely to suffer carjacking, and this should be considered before buying a new car. In South Africa, the most stolen car models include Mercedes-Benz C-Class, BMW 3 Series and Audi A4.