Convicted and now reformed hijacker, ‘Bra T’, shares some interesting information on how hijackers operate and how they identify their targets…
South Africa’s roads are a scary place to be – that’s no secret – and with a hijacking happening in SA every 15 minutes and women being high on the priority list for hijackers, we all need to take care and do everything we can to safeguard ourselves against becoming another statistic.
To assist motorists, Dialdirect turned to an unlikely source – a convicted and now reformed hijacker, “Bra T”, who was recently interviewed by anti-crime activist, Yusuf Abramjee on Crime Watch on eNCA.
According to Abramjee: “During the interview, Bra T shared some interesting information on how hijackers operate and how they identify their targets. As we all know, prevention is better than cure, but in order to prevent a hijacking situation one needs to be equipped with the correct information and knowledge. Hijacking is a reality and you need to be prepared for this horrific eventuality.”
According to Bra T:
How many cars do hijackers typically steal? A team of 4 hijackers – often numbed out by alcohol and drugs – will take 30 to 40 cars per month, and could get as many as 5 or 6 cars per day.
How are targets selected? Hijackers operate according to their clients’ “shopping list”, which specifies exactly what make and model of car they need, how many they need and when they need it by. When it comes to identifying areas and victims, hijackers will target areas where there’s a higher chance of getting the specific car that they need, without presenting too much risk to themselves. People on their way back from shopping malls make for ideal targets, as they usually carry cash or cards that could be an added “bonus”. Hijackers will often force their victim to share the PIN to their bank card, sometimes holding them hostage to ensure that the PIN provided is correct, and/or to make multiple withdrawals.
Where and how do hijackers strike? In public spaces, hijackers will follow a target at a distance, later moving closer and striking at a traffic light. They often use a strategy of bumping into their victim and making them think that it is an accident to get them to exit their car. Driveways are also a prime hijacking hotspot, where hijackers typically box in a victim before the access gate is completely open.
Tshifularo emphasises the importance of being aware and looking out for anything that seems suspicious and offers the following tips:
“In the worst-case scenario, if you are confronted by a hijacker, try to remain calm and do not argue,” says Tshifularo.
“If you’re asked to get out of the car, use the hand closest to the seat belt to unclip it, and don’t make any sudden gestures. Avoid eye contact, comply with the hijacker’s requests and don’t be a hero – remember your life is worth more than your car,” he continues.
“Ultimately, you have to trust your instincts and if you feel uncomfortable, call your security company and report it,” Mordecai concludes.