Avoid becoming a victim of smash & grabs with these 6 steps
Crime has become a scary reality for drivers on SA roads. Learn how to decrease your chances of becoming a victim of a smash and grab with these 6 steps.
We live in a beautiful country where we’re blessed with the ocean and the bush. However, each country has their negatives and in South Africa, crime has become one of the bigger problems facing our country. It’s important that we become aware of this reality and do what we can to prevent it from happening to us.
With the roads becoming busier and busier, criminals have started to take advantage of this and resorted to a crime known as a ‘smash and grab’.
Smash and grabs
Known as a crime of opportunity, criminals have taken a liking to “smash and grabs”. This is when thieves break a window in order to steal valuables you may have in your car. These valuables can be anything from handbags and cell phones to laptops and shopping bags. If a criminal spots something of value, they will try to get it through an unsuspecting smash and grab.
These smash and grabs usually happen in areas of high congestion such as areas where cars are stationary and traffic is high. The reason they do this is because in essence, you are a sitting duck – you have no where to go and you can’t chase the thieves, which makes it easy for them to get away.
It’s not always easy to identify these criminals. Sometimes they are disguised as street vendors, other times they work in pairs; while one distracts you, the other gets to work.
Although you can’t stop these criminals from doing what they do, you can take measures to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of this theft. Let’s take a look at some of the steps you can take to avoid this from happening to you.
6 steps to avoid becoming a smash and grab victim
- Close windows, lock doors
- Put valuables in the boot
- Be aware of street vendors
- Leave gaps between cars
- Don’t get out your car
- Avoid any distractions
These steps will not guarantee that you won’t be hijacked but they will help you to lessen your risk. Let’s take a closer look at these steps and see how you can make them work for you.
Close windows, lock doors
Make a habit out of locking your doors and closing your windows. If you usually drive with your windows open, make sure to close them as soon as you reach an intersection or an area of high congestion.
Criminals will target cars that have open windows because it means easier access to your valuables.
Put valuables in the boot
Criminals target cars that have visible belongings/valuables.
Do not leave anything lying around where it might be visible. This means don’t leave things on your seat, floor or dashboard. Rather put all your belongings in the boot where no one can see them.
Be aware of street vendors
When you come to a standstill and reach congested areas, be wary of street vendors.
There’s no way of knowing what people’s intentions are but if you notice someone walking suspiciously around your car or looking through your windows, take this as a red flag.
Leave gaps between cars
If you don’t give yourself enough space and someone attempts to hijack you, there’s nothing you can do.
Always try to leave a gap between you and the car in front of you. By doing this you better your chances of being able to drive away in the event of a smash and grab, should you be able to safely do so.
Don’t get out your car
No matter what happens, do not get out your car. Stay in your car at all times.
Sometimes, hijackers will put something in the road to entice you to stop and get out your vehicle. Don’t fall for this as they will make a move the minute you leave your car.
Avoid any distractions
If there’s anything that attracts criminals it’s a distracted driver.
When motorists are distracted in traffic it makes it much easier for thieves to smash and grab you. By being distracted, you make yourself a target for theft.
Avoid being distracted. Don’t sit on your phone or do anything that might take your attention away from the road. No matter how brief the distraction, you’re opening a window of opportunity for theft.
Unfortunately, theft has become a major problem on our roads. Each day drivers are exposed to smash and grabs. However, if you be a smart driver and use the above tips, you can decrease your chances of being the victim of a smash and grab.
Drive with Renault safety in mind and drive smart, #DriveTribe.