We have been warned of a new trend where motorists are being targeted while buying food at drive-thru establishments. As you get to the front of the queue, armed suspects from the vehicle in front of you get out and attempt to hijack your vehicle. There are usually two cars involved, the vehicle behind you, blocks in your car when you try to reverse.
South Africa’s crime statistics for Q1 2022/2023 showed an increase in hijackings across the country. A total of 5,866 hijackings were reported across the country over the period – a 14% increase from the 5,146 hijackings reported over the same period the previous year – and averages to a car stolen every 22 minutes in the country.
Motorists need to be vigilant and aware of their surroundings. People tend to relax while queuing, often distracted while reading the menu display, reaching for their wallets, and dealing with excited children.
Keep your bag in the boot – have your cash and card on hand for efficient payment. Despite the heat, keep all your windows and doors closed while waiting for your order.
Where possible don’t take your children with you to the drive-thru as they can be distracting. Stay off your cell phone and remain vigilant instead.
If you become a victim of a hijacking start pressing your hooter repeatedly, hijackers do not like this kind of attention which draws interest.
If you are hijacked while your children are in the car, firstly try to remain as calm as possible. Get out of the vehicle slowly without making any sudden movements and move to the back door directly behind the driver’s door. Place one foot firmly in the car, on the floor behind the driver’s seat, as you lean across to retrieve the youngest child. The eldest child will probably cling to you and you can get both children out of the car at once.
Always be on the alert for potential danger, and be on the lookout for possible escape routes and safe refuge along the way.
TRSS, keeping you informed.