Police warn of carjackings in NW

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Following numerous incidents of carjackings in different areas in North West, a warning has been issued to motorists to be more vigilant.

Police spokesperson, Sam Tselanyane, tells OFM News that amongst others, in a recent incident that took place on the Derby-Rustenburg road, a man was held at gun point and his vehicle was hijacked, when he stopped next to the road.

Tselanyane added police are particularly concerned with the motorists in the Brits cluster as they seem to be defeating the ends of justice by not providing the correct information of scenes where crimes took place.

He also provided a list of tips that can help motorists avoid being carjacked, saying motorists are requested to be vigilant and to report suspicious persons or vehicles at the nearest police stations and to apply the following safety tips as a precautionary measure:

· Never pick up or offer a lift to hitchhikers or strangers.

· Avoid stopping next to the road, except for an emergency.

· People stopping to relieve themselves have also fallen victim of this crime.

· A well-maintained car is less likely to break down and leave you vulnerable. Check your tyres regularly.

· Plan your route and let someone know what your route is and when to expect you at your destination.

· Always check the rear view mirror to see if you are being followed.

· Avoid distractions while driving, such as using a cell phone.

· If you suspect that you are being followed, drive to the nearest police station or a busy public area.

· When approaching a red traffic light, slow down so that you only reach it when it turns green especially during the night.

· If possible, park in a central, well-lit place, preferably with guards on duty.

· When stopping behind another vehicle, leave half a vehicle length in front so you can make an emergency escape if necessary.

· Avoid driving through unfamiliar areas and late at night or in the early hours of the morning when the roads are quiet.

· If possible, never drive alone.

· Never follow routine routes when driving, change routes on a regular basis.

· If possible, avoid driving in the dark. Hijackers may stage a minor accident, for example If your vehicle is bumped from behind and you do not feel comfortable with the individual involved in the situation, indicate that he / she must follow you and drive to the nearest police station or any busy public area for help.

OFM News/Elsabé Richard