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Hijacking prevails, driven by the target on business vehicles

Tracker’s vehicle crime statistics for the period January to June 2023 reveal that hijackings still dominate, accounting for 55% of all national vehicle crime incidents versus theft at 45%. However, while the hijacking to theft ratio for personal vehicles is relatively even at around a 50/50 split, a business vehicle has a far higher hijacking propensity at 65% versus theft at 35%.

The Tracker Vehicle Crime Index aggregates information from Tracker’s more than 1.1 million subscriptions. Tracker’s data indicates that a business vehicle is 59% more likely to experience vehicle crime and 32% more likely to experience hijacking than a personal vehicle.

Gauteng is still the province that experiences the most vehicle crime with 60% of the total vehicle crime incidents, followed by KwaZulu-Natal at 17% and the Western Cape at 9%. The same trend applies when examining business vehicle crime, with Gauteng at 55%, KwaZulu-Natal at 16% and the Western Cape at 14%.

However, KwaZulu-Natal business vehicles are more likely to encounter vehicle crime when considering Tracker’s provincial customer base of business vehicles, exceeding proportional representation of crime incidents by 27%. This is followed by Gauteng exceeding proportional representation of crime incidents by 16%.

Western Cape business vehicles are less likely to experience vehicle crime relative to the national business customer base yet are six times more likely to be hijacked than stolen. Second to Gauteng in terms of business vehicle hijacking volume, the Western Cape has a hijacking to theft ratio of 85% to 15%.

There is also statistically lower business vehicle crime collectively for provinces other than Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape. However, the crime that occurs in these regions is again skewed towards hijacking, with business vehicles in these areas three times more likely to encounter hijacking versus theft.

Nationwide, a higher proportion of vehicles are reported hijacked on Fridays, and between the hours of 11am and 3pm. While theft is mainly reported on Saturdays, and between the hours of 11am and 3pm.

“Crime sophistication varies provincially, usually linked to emerging crime opportunities, such as changes within regional transportation logistics,” says Duma Ngcobo, Chief Operating Officer at Tracker. “We are currently seeing the emergence of more sophisticated vehicle crime syndicates in Gauteng and escalating violence accompanying vehicle crime in KwaZulu-Natal. Businesses and consumers should remain aware of the risks, and always be vigilant on our roads. Partner with a trusted vehicle tracking and recovery company offering proactive and pre-emptive services designed to help protect drivers, vehicles and cargo.”

Tracker’s efforts to combat vehicle crime has resulted in 122 518 vehicle recoveries, 20 784 arrests and 1 104 firearms recovered to date.

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