Car hijackings have been a persistent issue in South Africa for many years. Despite a noticeable decrease in the number of cases reported annually, the problem remains significant. As we approach the festive season, it is anticipated that hijackers will be more active in the coming two months. Even with the decline in incidents, approximately 60 vehicles continue to be stolen every day.
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Analyzing the Peak Times for Hijackings
The South African Police Service reported that between April 1 and June 30 of this year, a staggering 5,488 cars were hijacked. The National Hijack Prevention Academy has identified that most carjackings occur on Tuesdays and Fridays between 16:00 and 20:00. This trend is attributed to motorists being more relaxed and an increase in traffic earlier on Fridays. The majority of these incidents are reported between 21:00 and 22:00 at night.
Interestingly, weekends show a lower rate of hijackings. This is believed to be due to syndicates checking their stock and placing orders on Mondays, as well as fewer vehicles being on the road. This pattern also explains why there are more hijackings from Tuesday to Friday. The busiest time for hijackers is between 18:00 and 21:00, with few cases reported between midnight and 05:00.
Understanding the Nature of Car Hijackings
Car hijackings are not random acts of violence but organized crimes often planned to target motorists driving from work to their homes. Negligence on behalf of the motorist should also not be excluded, such as leaving an idling vehicle unattended to open a gate in the driveway.
This trend is not new, and motorists who exhibit such behavior often become the prey of hijackers. Another explanation for this phenomenon is that highways are congested with traffic, making it almost impossible to catch hijackers without air support once they have disappeared into traffic.