Vehicle hijackings have increased lately, which is concerning for security and insurance experts. This article explores the types of vehicles that criminals target, the periods during which the risk of theft or hijacking is highest, and the factors contributing to this alarming trend.
The Types of Vehicles Targeted by Criminals
Fidelity Services Group’s footprint experienced a significant increase in hijackings between March and April 2023, as confirmed by its CEO, Wahl Bartmann. Home invasions are the most prevalent hijacking strategy. Bartmann highlights that individuals leaving or entering their homes while parked outside are particularly vulnerable. He adds that some incidents are premeditated, with criminals following victims beforehand to gather information on their residences and travel patterns.
Fidelity reports that Toyota, VW, Ford, and Nissan vehicles remain popular targets among hijackers. Specific models include Toyota Hilux, Fortuner, and Corollas; VW Polos; and Nissan NP200s. Naamsa reports that these vehicles are consistently among the country’s most popular. Their demand for parts plays a significant role in their appeal to criminals.
The Periods During Which the Risk of Theft or Hijacking is Highest
Naked Insurance Co-founder Ernest North explains that the disrupted supply chains resulting from load shedding, floods, and lockdowns worldwide have affected the availability of parts, making certain vehicles more attractive to thieves. He asserts, “When there is high demand and low supply of parts for a particular model, thieves are likelier to target it.”
Naked’s data reveals intriguing insights into current hijacking trends, such as the times of day when vehicles are most at risk. The data indicates that 54% of vehicle thefts take place between 5 am and noon, while 47% occur from noon to 9 pm and 25% between 9 pm and 5 am. Interestingly, vehicles are more prone to theft while being driven in the morning rather than when parked. This trend rises to a 75% likelihood once cars are parked at night.
The Factors Contributing to This Alarming Trend
Hijackings can be attributed to various factors, such as socioeconomic conditions, unemployment, and the flourishing black market for vehicle parts. Criminals are adapting to modern technology and devising new methods to steal cars, which necessitates constant updates to security systems and vigilance on the part of vehicle owners.
The Importance of Vigilance
Given the persistently high rates of hijackings in the country, both North and Bartmann emphasize the importance of vigilance. Being aware of the current trends and staying cautious while driving or parking your vehicle can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to this frightening crime wave.
It is essential for car owners to be aware of the rising trend of vehicle hijackings and take necessary precautions. By understanding the factors contributing to this menace and staying informed about the types of vehicles targeted and the times of day when hijackings are most likely to occur, individuals can take steps to protect themselves and their vehicles.