More and more vehicle thefts are being reported to SAPS. It is most certainly a crime on the rise. Although official statistics on vehicle theft in South Africa are contested, the hijacking business is still a major concern in the country where it is said that one car is stolen every nine minutes.
CarInfo.co.za, a website that offers information about the vehicle industry, says South Africa’s vehicle theft statistics are some of the highest in the world. The CEO of CarInfo stresses that the information is not scientific, saying that official government bodies need to better record and publicise this information because vehicle theft affects the South African economy.
The vehicle website says Toyota is seen as a reliable brand and therefore the most popular brand to steal. In addition, vehicle parts are also interchangeable between models – making them more vulnerable. Toyota does hold a big market share, of almost 20%, but Volkswagen follows closely at 17%; yet it doesn’t make the top of the list.
According to CarInfo, Gauteng has the highest number of stolen cars – with 27,470 reported between April 2013 and March 2014. This is followed by the Western Cape with 9,511, and KZN with 8,723.
Your vehicle is one of your most valuable assets, which makes it an easy target for crime. A criminal needs only a few minutes to break into or steal your vehicle. The following safety tips from Stallion Security will help you to prevent car theft, whether you are at home or just popping into the shops for a short while.
- Park your vehicle in a safe place that is well lit. If you can, park your vehicle behind locked gates or in the garage. The most common place where vehicles are stolen is in the street outside your home.
- Install a tracker, immobiliser and alarm system in your vehicle. Remember to activate your alarm system and other security equipment at all times.
- Lock your vehicle and close all the windows properly, whether at home or in a public place. Check that your doors are locked before walking away.
- Any valuables such as handbags, cell phones and shopping parcels are a temptation for any criminal. Put them out of sight in the boot of your vehicle.
- Be on the lookout for suspicious persons in the area – ordinary vagrants are not the people who steal vehicles.