Be Vigilant to avoid becoming a victim of a Smash-and-Grab!


Have you been the victim of a smash-and-grab and do you drive with an awareness of what might be making you a target for these criminals?

The Arrive Alive website received the following email which we would like to share:

Subject: Smash n Grab at the Fountains Circle, Pretoria

Message:
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I have been targeted at the Fountains Circle Robot and they stole my ID, drivers licence, cards, and many other items. During this week of 23 September 4 other ladies were also robbed.

One of the ladies decided to take someone with her to search for any items which she thought could have been thrown around the bushes. When she entered in the area, she found that there is a small area with “SHACKS” and after searching someone there told her to look at one of the big trees and she should find something there. To her amazement and shock, she found a huge pile of bags lying there with people’s personal documents and cards etc.

If this spot is targeted so frequently they why can’t the police do something about it.

It’s so unneccessary that we citizens have to be robbed daily on our way to work and the unnecessary costs that one has to through.

Response:

We shared this email with our Lieutenant Colonel Askew, Section Commander; Accident Combating Services SAPS and he has requested the relevant senior officers to take action.

It is also appropriate for us to share information from the Car Insurance Blog on how to avoid becoming a victim of a smash-and-grab:

What is a smash and grab crime?

A smash and grab criminal turns a pleasant drive into a nightmare when pouncing on unsuspecting drivers. The criminal act is usually characterized by the stealing of handbags and other valuables by the opening of car doors or even breaking windows while the car is stationary at traffic lights or stuck in slow moving traffic.

We would like to reflect on the sudden invasion of privacy by smash and grab criminals. The violent smashing of the window at the passenger side places the motorist in a few moments of silent paralysis – just enough to get hold of the valuables and flee the scene!

How to reduce the risk of smash and grab crimes

Even though it is not always possible to avoid the so called “hotspots” where these criminals prey on unsuspecting motorists, it is possible to reduce the risk of becoming a smash and grab victim.

The SAPS has provided important suggestions on how the vehicle owner can protect him/ herself:

  • Lock all your doors and close the windows when driving.
  • Don’t have bags, cellular phones, briefcases or other valuables visible – This will attract thieves who may break your car window.
  • Always remove radios, CD or cassette players if possible.
  • Lock all valuables in the boot of your car or behind the seat if it is a bakkie.
  • Be constantly on the lookout for suspicious looking characters.
  • When approaching a traffic light at night, slow down so you can catch the light when it is green and be wary of people standing at intersections – They may be innocent but perpetrators mix with these people while waiting for an opportunity to pounce.
  • Never open vehicle windows or doors for strangers.
  • If you encounter obstacles such as rocks or tyres do not get out of your vehicle to remove them -immediately reverse and drive off in the opposite direction.
  • May these suggestions contribute to the safety of all South Africans on the roads.
  • Thieves target car parks. Always park your car in attended parking lots.
  • When parking at night ensure that you always park in a well-lit area.
  • Never sit in your vehicle without being conscious of your surroundings.
  • Sleeping in a stationary vehicle is particularly dangerous.
  • Never leave children alone in a vehicle, not even for a moment. Let them accompany you.
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