Pretoria residents warned to be vigilant

Smash and grab incidents are on the rise. Photo: Richard Klune/Corbis
Smash and grab incidents are on the rise. Photo: Richard Klune/Corbis

Gopolang Chawane

Central police warn motorists of an increase in smash and grabs in the Pretoria West and central area.

Spokesperson Captain Augustinah Selepe said a slight increase in the number of smash and grabs have been reported.

Es’kia Mphahlele Drive in Marabastad is one of the major hotspots in the area.

 

Selepe said police urged motorists to be alert and vigilant at all times.

“Make sure the car doors are locked, windows closed and never leave any valuables visible.”

Selepe also asked the public to be aware of pamphlet distributors and ice-lolly sellers as some may be the culprits.

She said theft of a vehicle is rife, and in most cases handbags, laptops, and cellphones were targeted. She said thieves break a vehicle’s window to get to valuables.

Selepe said hotspots identified by police were Eeufees, Jeff Masemola and Paul Kruger, Struben and Es’kia Mphahlele streets. Vom Hagen Street in Pretoria West is also one of the hotspots.

Arrive Alive, an organisation focused on road awareness and safety advised motorists to follow the tips below to prevent smash-and-grabs:

Infographic: Danielle Garrett

Infographic: Danielle Garrett

Criminals focus on areas where traffic is often congested and where vehicles will remain stationary for a while.

Criminals often work in pairs, one will pose as a vendor, distracting the driver while the other attacks from the passenger side.

Single drivers and female drivers are easy targets.

Those who are distracted, for example, those busy on the cellphone or with a cigarette in hand.

Vehicles left unattended away from the crowds and with visible valuables are easy targets.

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