Stats show drop in car thefts and hijackings
The Tracker vehicle crime statistics for the period July to December 2019 reveal an 18% decrease in the number of theft and hijackings reported nationally during December, compared with the five previous months.
This trend is consistent year-on-year, with an 18% decrease in December 2018 and a 21% decrease in December 2017. Tracker also reports having reached the milestone of 100,000 vehicle recoveries in January – the company’s total since its inception in 1996.
Recorded from Tracker’s more than 1.1-million installed vehicle base - the largest of its kind in South Africa - the statistics provide insights into vehicle theft and hijacking trends, including the times and days when vehicle crime is most likely to occur.
The Tracker index also records the towns most affected by vehicle crime in all nine provinces.
Tracker data indicates that vehicles are most often hijacked or stolen on a Saturday. This is followed by Thursdays for hijackings and Fridays for thefts.
Hijackings are most often reported between 8pm and 9pm, followed by noon to 2pm - regardless of the day of the week. Vehicle thefts on the other hand are typically reported between 11am and 2pm.
Most vehicle-related crimes (54%) take place in Gauteng, with Johannesburg topping the list in the province for hijackings and Pretoria for thefts.
KwaZulu-Natal is the province with the second-most vehicle crimes. Durban leads the way for both hijackings and theft.
Third is the Western Cape, where Khayelitsha recorded the most hijackings in the province, while Cape Town experienced the most vehicle thefts.
Other theft and hijacking hotspots include:
- eMalahleni in Mpumalanga;
- Ibhayi in the Eastern Cape;
- Rustenburg in the North West;
- Polokwane in Limpopo; and
- Bloemfontein in the Free State.
The Northern Cape accounted for less than 1% of all Tracker activations, with the highest number of hijackings taking place in Postmasburg and thefts in Kimberley.
Tracker’s efforts to combat vehicle crime resulted in 3081 vehicle recoveries, 512 arrests and 23 firearms recovered in the second half of 2019.
“We are delighted to have reached the 100,000 milestone for vehicle recoveries,” said the company's Ron Knott-Craig.
“Tracker’s vehicle tracking technology, along with its partnerships with the Saps and other law enforcement agencies, has played a crucial role in this achievement.”
Avoid becoming a victim of vehicle crime by following these tips:
- Make sure your vehicle has sufficient fuel and is properly maintained to prevent a breakdown.
- Plan your routes in advance to try avoid high-risk areas and the distraction of having to check directions while driving.
- Keep valuables out of sight in the boot or under the seats.
- Remain vigilant at all times: criminals are relying on you being distracted and vulnerable.