Friday, July 12, 2013

Homeowners are urged to be vigilant when approaching or exiting their property as driveway hijackings are on the rise.

“Police information shows that people are more likely to be hijacked in a driveway than anywhere else. Our own claims data suggests the same. In the past two years, we have seen an increase in driveway hijackings,” says Bradley Du Chenne, Senior Executive of Dial Direct Insurance.

Du Chenne notes that while criminals certainly do target people who have electric gates, their window of opportunity is much bigger in instances where their target has to physically get out of their car to open-up.

“We strongly urge consumers to install electric motors on their gates, and take every precaution when leaving and arriving home,” says Du Chenne.

In most driveway hijacking incidents, hijackers follow their targets home from shopping centres or petrol stations. Many also patrol neighbourhoods looking for pre-selected vehicles, watch their victims’ routines and then pounce when the moment is right.

Sadly, the risk of being hijacked in someone else’s driveway is just as high as being hijacked outside your own home. People are targeted when picking-up passengers in a car pool or for a school run, with most driveway hijacking happening in the early morning and evening.

Du Chenne stresses the importance of thoroughly scrutinizing your surroundings when approaching home, and anyone else’s home.

“Be alert at all times. If you notice a suspicious vehicle on your tail, or in the vicinity of the driveway, don’t stop at the gate. Keep going to the nearest police station and phone your armed response company to tend to it.

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