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JOBURG – Police recover hijacked vehicles, AK47s, a pistol and ammunition.

20160922_075323_54958The firearms and live ammunition found in the hijacked vehicle.

Jeppe Police Station officers have recovered two motor vehicles that had recently been hijacked – with firearms and ammunition found inside one – according to Captain Richard Munyayi of the station.

“A blue Mercedes Benz was hijacked from its owner who was sitting inside the car at Broadway and 8th Street in Bez Valley. The victim alleged that two unknown men walked passed him and immediately turned back and pointed firearms. “Two more men appeared and they pushed him to the back seat and ordered him to lie down,” explained Munyayi.

All four men got inside the car and one of them drove off while the victim was in the back seat. While driving with the victim, the suspects searched him and took his iPhone, a wallet, and a wedding ring, said Munyayi. The suspects dropped the victim off in Jeppestown and he went to the police station to report the incident.

A lookout for the car was dispatched and the car was later recovered at Kwa Mai Mai hostel while parked there. When the police searched the vehicle, they discovered two AK47 assault rifles and a pistol with live ammunition.

“We suspect that the firearms are the ones used during the hijacking of the vehicle. The firearms will be taken for ballistic tests for further investigations. No suspects have been arrested,” said Munyayi.


1522115263Johannesburg – Police in KwaZulu-Natal on Monday warned liquor store owners about a new scam involving liquor licence renewals.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Thulani Zwane said the warning followed after a Ladysmith liquor outlet owner brought an incident to the attention of the police.

According to Zwane, the owner of the liquor outlet received an SMS requesting that he make a deposit of R250 for the renewal of the liquor licence.

Zwane said after verifying with the National Liquor Board, the owner discovered that the bank details provided in the SMS were not that of the Liquor Authority.

“For your own safety police advise anyone receiving such SMSs must first verify the bank details before handing over any money,” Zwane said.

 He said liquor store owners should also ensure that they contact the Liquor Authority in order to verify the contents of the SMS.

Johannesburg – Following two recent attacks on Uber passengers in Gauteng by criminals hiding in the boot, Uber has stepped up its security efforts as it attempts to protect and reassure its customers. These include improvements to the current app as well as the trialling of an SOS panic button feature in Johannesburg and a dashcam initiative in Cape Town.

For starters, Uber is making it easier for customers to ensure they’re getting into the correct vehicle by providing the driver’s first name and photo along with the type of vehicle, its colour and licence plate number as soon as the trip has been accepted by the driver in question. However, this is a “phased roll-out” so not all users will see the changes straight away, as Uber tests different groups and user preferences.

Furthermore, Uber says that rides will be tracked using GPS and that riders will be able to share their ETA with loved ones, allowing them to see the trip in real time.

SOS buttons, dashcams trialled

Uber is also testing out two further innovations that might make trips even safer in future.

Key among these is an in-vehicle SOS button, which will be trialled in Johannesburg.

This will see panic buttons installed in select Uber partner vehicles and linked up to the company’s central security system, which will monitor the devices around the clock. The initiative will also allow drivers to connect to a broad range of emergency services and receive advice in critical situations.

Should this system prove successful, Uber will consider rolling it out to other regions at a future date.

Also being trialled is a dashcam initiative in select Uber vehicles in Cape Town. The cameras record inside the vehicle and in front of it and customers are notified about its presence while hailing the ride, allowing them to decline if they’re not comfortable with the idea.

“The purpose of these dash cameras is to provide riders and drivers with a sense of security knowing that if they are involved in an incident or accident that the event was recorded,” an Uber spokesperson said.

The latest crime statistics from the South African Police Service shows that cases of hijacking increased significantly in the past year.

According to the SAPS, there were over 14,600 reported car hijackings between 2015 and 2016, up 14.3% from 12,770 cases in the prior period.

Statistically, this shows that 40 cars are hijacked every day in South Africa (35 in 2015), or roughly one car every 36 minutes.

As has always been the case, car and truck hijacking is most common in South Africa’s most populated province, Gauteng, followed by other built up provinces such as KwaZulu Natal and the Western Cape.

Gauteng accounts for over half (50.5%) of all reported car hijackings – with 7,376 cases, and 58.% of all reported truck hijackings, with 695 cases.

The province is also the worst when it comes to theft of cars and motorcycles – referring to cases where cars have been stolen while unoccupied – with 26,646 cases.

Vehicle theft is far more common than hijacking, with the SAPS reporting 53,809 cases in 2016.

These are the worst precincts in South Africa for car hijacking, truck hijacking, and vehicle theft in 2016.

The precincts represent the SAPS office where the crime was reported and a case opened, not necessarily where the crime took place – however it is indicative of the trouble area.

Car hijacking

While Gauteng has the worst rate of hijacking in the country, Nyanga in the Western Cape has emerged as the worst precinct in the country, overtaking Booysens which held the top dishonour in 2016.

New entries into the ‘worst 10’ include Soshanguve, Yeoville and Kagiso in Gauteng, and Kwazakele in the Eastern Cape. The 10 worst precincts account for 12% of total carjacking cases.

# Precinct Province No. of crimes
1 Nyanga Western Cape 238
2 Booysens Gauteng 207
3 Gugulethu Western Cape 202
4 Jeppe Gauteng 192
5 Chatsworth KwaZulu Natal 175
6 Soshanguve Gauteng 169
7 Pinetown KwaZulu Natal 146
8 Yeoville Gauteng 139
8 Kagiso Gauteng 139
10 Kwazakele Eastern Cape 135

Truck hijacking

Heidelberg in Gauteng remained the worst precinct for truck hijackings, though the number of cases is down from 2015.

New entries into the ‘worst 10’ include Vosloorus, Bedfordview, Ogies, Boksburg North and Grootvlei.  46% of all truck hijackings in the country take place in these 10 precincts.

# Precinct Province No. of crimes
1 Heidelberg Gauteng 73
2 Kempton Park Gauteng 41
3 Vosloorus Gauteng 32
4 Ogies Mpumalanga 31
5 Bedfordview Gauteng 28
6 Delmas Mpumalanga 27
7 Alberton Gauteng 26
8 Olifantsfontein Gauteng 21
9 Boksburg North Gauteng 20
9 Grootvlei Mpumalanga 20

Vehicle theft

Honeydew has maintained its place as the worst area for vehicle theft in the country, with Berea in KZN moving up to second place.

New areas in the 2016 ‘worst 10’ include Linden, Boksburg North, Krugersdorp and Brixton. The 10 worst precincts account for 11.1% of all vehicle theft crimes.

# Precinct Province No. of crimes
1 Honeydew Gauteng 835
2 Berea KwaZulu Natal 729
3 Durban Central KwaZulu Natal 618
4 Booysens Gauteng 574
4 Roodepoort Gauteng 574
6 Linden Gauteng 554
7 Brooklyn Gauteng 529
8 Boksburg North Gauteng 521
8 Krugersdorp Gauteng 521
10 Brixton Gauteng 515

SAPS data for 2016 covers April 2015 to March 2016 – and because of this, it is at least 6 months out of date by the time of public release.

The group has announced that it will, in the future, put crime data out on a quarterly basis to give a better overview of crime trends in the country.

The stats should also be taken in context of population sizes – ie, as the most populous province, Gauteng is more likely to have the most incidences of crime.

 Acting National Police Commissioner, Khomotso Phahlane has urged South Africans to play their part and assist police in their efforts to fight crime.

“The fight against crime is everyone’s responsibility, not just the police’s,” said Phahlane when he briefed the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee and the Minister of Police, Nathi Nhleko, on the latest crime statistics.

Briefing members of parliament, Nhleko shared that there had been a decrease in incidents of crime in broad categories – except for contact crime, which is murder, assault and sexual assault, which has gone up by one per cent over the last financial year.

The murder rate, alone, has gone up by 4.9 per cent and the head of Crime Research and Statistics, Norman Sekhukhune said murder remains a problematic crime faced by the police. Sekhukhune also highlighted that their docket analysis of murder shows multiple murders in one incident. For example, seven victims in one case of domestic violence. He also added that most of the contact crimes reported were linked to alcohol abuse and occur among people who know one another.

Sekhukhune said that 65.9 per cent of reported crimes is contact crimes and property-related crime.

Other crime statistics released include:

Shoplifting went down by 3 per cent

Commercial crime up by 3.1 per cent

Bank robbery down by 64.7 per cent

Cash-in-transit robbery up by 15.1 per cent

Truck hijacking down by 7.4 per cent

Robbery at non-residential areas up by 2.8 per cent

Robbery at residential areas up by 2.7 per cent

Carjacking up by 14.3 per cent.

Johannesburg – South Africans fed up with criminals should think twice before fighting back during a crime, an expert said ahead of the release of the national crime statistics on Friday.

Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko and Acting National Commissioner Lieutenant General Khomotso Phahlane will brief the police portfolio committee in Parliament and then the media on the latest crime statistics as collated by the South African Police Service.


 The head of governance, crime and justice division at the Institute for Security Studies, Gareth Newham, said research would need to be done to see whether victims were increasingly fighting back, but emphasised that victims of crime should not aggravate an armed robber.

“It’s generally not recommended to fight back if the person who is confronting you is armed and you are not trained or you’re not trained to deal with that situation,” Newham told News24.

“Research that we have seen shows that in particular, robbery situations like house robberies, business robberies and even street robberies where victims have fought back, it more likely than not triggers violence from the perpetrator.”

He added that docket analysis of house robberies show that fighting back is much more likely to result in injury or death.

“This is because the people committing these robberies are usually armed and they are of the kind of personality that will use violence against you if you do not follow their instructions. So any sign that you might fight against them or resist them could lead them to using weapons against you, and in that situation we would say that it’s safer to comply.”

‘Rather safe than sorry’

The vast majority of people who fall victim to house robberies, business robberies and street robberies and simply hand over the goods tend to come off unscathed.

While all situations are different, the general consensus would be to stick to the old saying: “rather safe than sorry”, Newham said.

Fighting back is not always the answer, but in some incidents South Africans have managed to fight off their attackers.

In August a Durban cyclist stabbed and killed a suspected robber and injured another when they attacked him in Pinetown.

In the same month a group of hijackers attempting to steal a sports car ended up with their hands empty as their victim fought back.

In another July incident a Cape Town jeweller managed to fend off a gang of armed robbers who tried to empty his display cabinet.

Also in July, a 70-year-old woman made things tough for three gunmen who confronted her at her home in a Sir Lowry’s Pass security estate.

In May a post office employee managed to chase down an armed robber before being stabbed with a knife repeatedly in the head. He survived.

However, in July a top media strategist was murdered after a scuffle ensued between him and robbers during an attack in his garage at his Randburg home.

However, in July a top media strategist was murdered after a scuffle ensued between him and robbers during an attack in his garage at his Randburg home.