Security company reveals vehicle hijacking numbers down over festive season

Hijackers typically hijack utility vehicles and trucks for cargo. Picture: File

Hijackers typically hijack utility vehicles and trucks for cargo. Picture: File

Published Jan 31, 2024


While there has been a general increase in vehicle hijackings, Wahl Bartmann, CEO of Fidelity Services Group, one of southern Africa’s largest security companies, affirms that there weren’t any notable nationwide surges in the number of vehicle hijackings during the holiday season.

Bartmann, speaking about the prevalence of hijackings in South Africa, said there had been a decline throughout the festive season.

According to statistics from the SAPS, about 6 000 cars were hijacked in South Africa between July and September 2023, or about 66 cars every day on average.

Bartmann added that hijackings were more prevalent in January and February.

“Fortunately, no spikes in hijackings were recorded from our perspective over the festive season. However, we are gearing up as the available data indicates that a spike in hijackings may occur in January and February.”

He said vehicle hijacking was essentially a business driven by demand and supply, adding that Toyotas, Volkswagens, Fords and Nissans were in high demand on the black market.

“As a result, hijackers target specific vehicles for a specific purpose and market. The demand for Toyotas, VWs, Fords and Nissans remains high on the black market,” he said.

Based on the Fidelity SecureDrive base for 2023 and into the new year, the most high-risk models are the Toyota Fortuner (GD6 and D4D), Hilux (GD6 and D4D), Corolla Cross, RAV 4, VW Polo (especially hatchbacks), Nissan NP 200, and Ford Ranger (both double and single cabs).

Hijackers typically hijack utility vehicles and trucks for cargo.

“Most hijackings target victims at, or close to, their residences and/or places of work,” said Bartmann. “A recent trend was identified in which the hijackers kidnapped the victims to assist with the location of the tracking device and to delay the reporting of the incident.”

It is also confirmed that about 30% of all stolen and hijacked vehicles were taken across the border into neighbouring countries.

He warned motorists to be mindful of their surroundings and to keep an eye out for vehicles that may be following them. If they feel they are being followed, they should drive quickly to the nearest police station or, at the very least, to a public area where other people were.

Last year, in response to the ongoing hijackings, the business indicated that vehicle monitoring systems (such as SecureDrive, a product offered by Fidelity Services) can provide the same level of protection as a home security system.

It can alert you if someone is attempting to steal your (or your child’s) vehicle, as well as assist you in locating it if it has been stolen.