How to survive a hijacking and outsmart SA burglars

Burglaries and vehicle hijackings are an unfortunate reality in South Africa.

Experts in the security and motoring industries have shared their advice on how to survive home invasions and hijacking.

Read: 8 tips that could help you avoid a car hijacking

Automobile Association (AA) spokesman Layton Beard joined managing executive Rob Dale and chief technology officer Carel Wessels both from Fidelity Security Services.

An alarm system alone is not enough to protect yourself against burglars, Dale says.

Also read: How safe do feel in your own home? Callers share their experiences of crime

Wessels adds that technology is only one layer of protection in your home, but it requires financial investment.

Here's some advice on securing your home against break-ins:

  • make sure your front door is secured
  • invest in a palisade gate
  • invest in an alarm system
  • invest in outdoor lighting
  • invest in dogs
  • invest in an armed response company with a monitoring system
  • ask them to conduct a risk assessment of your home
  • invest in CCTV footage and other technology that is integrated to your smartphone

One of the modus operandi that we do see is entry through the front door. It's a lot more brazen.

Rob Dale, managing executive at Fidelity Security Services

It's less of a risk coming through the front door for criminals because there's a one minute delay to that's programmed into the alarm.

Rob Dale, managing executive at Fidelity Security Services

A crowbar and a two-pound hammer take 45 seconds.

Rob Dale, managing executive at Fidelity Security Services

Technology is the first line of defence on the perimeter.

Carel Wessels, chief technology officer at Fidelity Security Services

Beard maintains that motorists should present themselves as non-threatening to their hijackers.

Read more: Security expert identifies top 14 hijacking hotspots in Gauteng (and gives tips)

Here is some advice for people caught in a hijacking:

  • remain as calm as possible - do not resist or fight back against armed hijackers
  • make sure your hands are visible at all times and verbalise that you will cooperate
  • keep your gaze as low as possible and do not make direct eye contact

Don't fight back. Your life is more important than your car

Layton Beard, Automobile Association spokesperson

LISTEN: Reformed car hijacker sheds light on hijacking underworld

The panel discussed crime in South Africa and answered several concerns and questions from listeners.

Listen to the conversation:


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