Wednesday, March 15, 2017


The ever-present and ever-increasing incidence of smash-and-grab attacks committed by spark plug thugs, mainly at intersections and at traffic lights, in cities across the country, demands immediate and effective action.

It is up to you, the motorist to avoid becoming a victim by remaining as vigilant and alert as possible.

According to Robyn Farrell, CEO of 1st for Women Insurance: “Arrive Alive states that women are more of a target for criminals than men when it comes to smash and grabs. With this in mind, handbag insurance is not something women should go without.”

1st for Women provides the following tips to prevent a smash and grab attack:

  • Leave your passenger windows open by about three centimeters to make the glass more flexible, allowing the window to absorb the sudden impact of an attempted smash-and-grab.
  • It is advisable not to leave your handbag, or anything at all worth stealing, visible on either your passenger or back seat. By doing this you are attracting the attention of potential smash-and-grab thieves. Keep your handbag stored in the boot or under your seat.
  • Street intersections, stop signs or driveways are regarded as smash and grab “hot spots” at any given time. Always remain on full alert when stationary in your vehicle.
  • When you approach an intersection, leave a reasonable stopping distance between you and the car in front of you to allow yourself room to maneuver and escape any dangerous situation.
  • Keep your hand close to the hooter when you are at a robot or stop street. When approaching a red traffic light at night, it is better to slow down so that you only reach it when it turns green.
  • Possibly the best smash-and-grab preventative means is to have polycarb film fitted to your windows. This is tinted so that potential thieves cannot see into your car. The film makes it extremely difficult to shatter your windows and it also reduces glare. In addition, the film reduces the chance of injury from broken glass.

The reality is that handbag theft can occur at any time and again, staying vigilant and alert is the order of the day. 

1st for Women offers these tips on how to avoid having your handbag stolen:

  • Hold your handbag tightly and close to your body or loop the strap around your wrist to prevent the handbag from being easily snatched.
  • Never hang your handbag on the back of a chair or on the floor when sitting at a restaurant.
  • Always keep your keys in the same secure spot in your handbag, such as a side pocket or easily accessible key purse.
  • Park in well-lit spaces, both on the street and in a parking lot.
  • Locate your keys and have them in your hand before approaching your car.
  • Park as close as possible to the entrance or exit of a building to avoid having to walk alone for too long.
  • Don’t park beside pillars, stairwells or anywhere a person could potentially hide.

“In the event of a smash-and-grab attack it is advisable to remain calm and do not show any signs of aggression or threaten or challenge the culprit.  Your handbag is replaceable, your life is not,” concludes Farrell.


1st for Women’s Home Contents Insurance policy includes Handbag Cover of up to R5000 if your handbag is ever lost, stolen or damaged. For more information, please visit

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