Definition: Vehicle hijacking is a form of robbery with aggravating circumstances, it can be defined as the unlawful, intentional and violent removal and appropriation of movable corporeal property belonging to another. The victim’s resistance has to be overcome and the property obtained by the use of violence against the victim’s person. (National Hijacking Prevention Academy 2012)
Hijackings occur every day of the week, reaching a high on Fridays, due to motorists being more relaxed and traffic increasing earlier on a Friday.
A drastic increase occurs from 16h00 in the afternoon as motorists head home or out. Vehicles hijacked during peak hours of 16h00 – 20h00 may be explained by the fact that people returning home from work are often tired, frustrated, or also relaxed and in jovial moods and not alert to potentially threatening circumstances.
Gauteng and Kwa-Zulu Natal reported the highest incidence of vehicle hijacking. The circulation of illegal firearms in South Africa is disturbing and has to have a direct influence on the increase of vehicle hijackings and violent crime in general in South Africa.
Freight Hijacking – A commercial vehicle is hijacked not only to secure the vehicle but also its cargo, which can be of substantial value. Frequently, the cargo is of more interest to the hijacker than the truck. Transport Hijacking – The vehicle is taken for the express purpose of using it as transport during other crimes such as drug dealing, burglaries, bank robberies and gun running. The vehicles are probably later cannibalised for spare parts or simply dumped.
Showmanship Hijacking – A gang operates out of egotistical bravado, acting on the “this is a cool thing to be doing” rationale. Peer group pressure is very high and individuals may be coerced into more dangerous and daredevil approaches; being labeled a “sissy” if they don’t. Thus intimidation, violence and vandalism are associated with the crime. Drugs and alcohol may also be a motive as theft of the victim’s personal belongings is commonplace.
Operational Hijacking – A group formally work together in a more structured way. They usually have experience in car theft and have established contacts within the motorcar underworld that will receive and pay cash for stolen vehicles or spare parts.
Syndicate Hijacking – The most organised of all and often has international connections. A network of hijacking groups is established with the overall coordinator, syndicating out work so that he remains out of view in exactly the same way as the drug baron uses pushers. This makes identifying and arresting the ultimate boss very difficult. Additionally, a syndicate is often backed by a lot of money, especially if there are international links and makes full use of any potential to bribe the authorities in order to protect their operations..
Approaching and entering your driveway:
Parking your vehicle
Whilst entering your vehicle and while driving