Motorists urged to exercise caution as petrol station hijackings spike in South Africa

Posted on 24 April 2024 By Savanna Douglas

Proceed with caution when you stop for gas in South Africa – experts have sounded the alarm about a concerning rise in hijacking incidents at petrol stations.

The recent tragic murder of Kaizer Chiefs defender Luke Fleurs during a hijacking at a petrol station in Johannesburg, along with an attempted ATM robbery at a garage in Nelspruit, has raised serious concerns.

There has been a significant increase in reported petrol station-related crimes in South Africa. Louis Nyahunda, Senior Research Fellow at the Tshwane University of Technology Department of Law, Safety and Security Management, tells SABC News.

He explains that the inflow of cash and vehicles, as well as ATMs, are factors that have made petrol stations top targets for criminals. Adding that many of South Africa’s petrol stations lack adequate security measures, crime deterrents. and policing.

According to the SAPS, there has been a significant increase in hijackings year-on-year, with provinces like Gauteng, Western Cape, and North West experiencing notable spikes. This trend reflects the broader rise in carjackings, with approximately 66 cars being stolen daily during the third quarter of 2023, a 6.5% increase from the previous year, reports BusinessTech.

Wahl Bartmann, CEO of Fidelity Services Group, adds that hijackers often target popular car models such as Fords, Nissans, Toyotas, and VWs, which are in high demand on the black market. Recent additions to this list include the RAV 4 and Toyota Corolla Cross, which have become high-risk models due to their popularity.

In response to this heightened risk, security experts advise South African motorists to exercise extreme caution while refuelling, remain vigilant of their surroundings, and keep their vehicle doors locked.

They also stress the importance of complying with hijackers’ demands in the event of an attack to avoid escalating the situation.

Hijackings are not limited to petrol stations, as traffic lights remain hotspots for these crimes across the country. Vigilance is crucial, experts say, to stay safe at all times, especially when stationary at a red light.

Image: Unsplash

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