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Think your car’s safe? Think again.

Monday, July 16, 2018

On the evening of 24 April 2018, CCTV footage from a business in Craighall captured something rather scary: a gang of criminals breaking into, and raiding, three cars in just three minutes. And they did so, all with the greatest of ease, in plain sight of passing motorists.

According to the Statistics South Africa 2016/17 Victims of Crime Survey, theft from motor vehicles is a prevailing issue in the country, with 139 433 of these kinds of crime taking place in just one year. Need some help with that maths? That’s an average of 382 incidents per day. A single day.

Maanda Tshifularo, a spokesperson for Dialdirect, says “With roughly 16 incidents of theft from a motor vehicle every hour, South African vehicle owners have to be vigilant. These incidents could be significantly reduced, if not avoided altogether, by putting smart measures in place.”

So, to help you do just that, we at Dialdirect have put together the following tips to help protect your vehicle and your valuables:

  • Try to ensure that your vehicle is always parked in a well-lit, protected area – one that ideally has a security guard or some kind of security feature.
  • Be especially mindful of remote jamming. Always check that your car is properly locked, and then double check again.
  • Be aware of “sliders” – criminals who seem to be passers-by, but who will try and open one of your vehicle’s doors, just a little, before you get the chance to lock it and who will then loot your vehicle once you’re gone.
  • A simple solution, but one that so many people forget, is to just avoid leaving valuables in your vehicle. And, if you absolutely have to leave something in your car, then make sure it’s stored somewhere out of sight, like in the boot.
  • The same goes for using your car like a cupboard. Rather empty your car out at the end of each day to keep temptation of criminals at an absolute minimum.
  • Consider equipping your car’s windows with anti-smash-and-grab film, which does offer an extra layer of protection.
  • Think about investing in a good vehicle alarm system if your car doesn’t already come with one. And make sure it’s the kind that sounds the moment there’s any sort of breach.
  • Never, ever leave items of interest lying in full view on your car seats while you’re driving, or while you’re parked. It might seem convenient to leave your jacket or bag or laptop right next to you, but it’s convenient for opportunistic criminals too.
  • Don’t leave house keys or important papers in your car.
  • Most important of all, always make sure that you’ve got the right insurance you need to cover your car – and any portable possessions you carry with you regularly. (And if you’re not sure that you do, get in touch with us.)

Of course, Tshifularo does make another good point too, “It’s also very handy to have the Namola crime response app, supported by Dialdirect, on your cellphone. It gets you direct access to the emergency assistance you need within a matter of seconds”.

And with such rampant car crime happening all over the country, every day, we couldn’t have said it better ourselves.