Smash and grab incidents can be prevented

  • Always keep all doors locked.  Criminals don’t hesitate to grab items either when a vehicle is stationary or moving slowly in traffic.
  • Keep one window open, but not more than 3 cm from the top.  This makes the windows more resilient to pressure if they are struck by a spark plug.  The latter is a popular means of shattering a window during a smash and grab or hi-jacking.
  • Do not wind windows down completely, especially while talking on your cell phone.  Not only does this create an opportunity for criminals to grab your cell phone through an open window, but it is illegal to talk on your cell phone while driving.
  • Make sure that no valuables – money or sunglasses are visible in your vehicle – put all valuables in the boot:  especially laptops and handbags.  If criminals can’t see anything lying around in a car; you are not a target.
  • Beware of people loitering around intersections, especially if there are no businesses or taxi ranks in the immediate vicinity.
  • Be on a constant lookout for suspicious-looking characters.  Do not hesitate to report them to the police.
  • When you stop behind another vehicle, try to leave half a vehicle length open in front of your car to make an emergency escape, if needed.
  • Be alert and don’t take pamphlets or get into discussions with vendors at intersections.
  • When approaching a red traffic light at night, slow down so that you only reach it when it turns green.  If that isn’t possible, stop at a distance from the light.  This gives you a better view of people who might be approaching from the lights, and offer you greater maneuverability.
  • If you encounter obstacles in the road such as rocks or tyres do not get out of your vehicle to remove them.  Rather reverse and drive in the opposite direction.  Chances are that perpetrators are waiting for you to get out of your vehicle to either attack you or steal your vehicle or its contents.
  • Never sit in your vehicle without being conscious of your surroundings.
  • When possible, drive in the middle-lane, especially at night, as criminals tend to hide in the bushes/grass next to the side lanes

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