Hijack Tips

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HiJack - Interesting Statistics

Most wanted vehicle - Toyota Siyaya still top of the list for the past 5 years!!

Top 5 most Vulnerable hijacking spots:
  • In front of Private Residences - 51%
  • Victims sitting in Parked Cars - 10%
  • At traffic lights - 7%
  • At stop street or yield sign - 6%
  • At business premises - 5%

In case of a Hijacking ...

  • Be familiar with your environment.
  • Get to know who belongs in the vicinity of your home or workplace, and who does not.
  • Keep your eyes open for anything out of the ordinary.
  • Lock all doors and close windows before driving off.
  • Try to vary your route to work, the gym - all places you travel too regularly.
  • Ensure all your mirrors are adjusted to give you an optimal all-round view or your surroundings.
  • Try to stop about 5m behind a car in front of you at a stop sign or traffic light - it makes for an easy getaway if trouble arises.



  • Don’t drive with your car window more than 5 cm open.
  • Always put your bag under the passenger seat or in the boot – and never reach for it if you’ve been ordered out of your car.
  • The hijacker might assume you’re grabbing a firearm and shoot you.
  • Avoid going to petrol stations after 9 pm.
  • Keep your cellphone on you; when you’re out of the car you can call for help.
  • Don't open your vehicle window or door to strangers, including hitchhikers.
  • Remain in your car if it is hit from behind. Inspect any damage only once you are sure it is not a hijack attempt.
  • Attract the attention of other motorists or pedestrians if you think you are in danger. You can use the hooter, flash your lights, put your emergency lights on or shout.
  • If you suspect that you are being followed, you should ideally drive to the nearest police station. If this is not possible, drive to another safe place but don't go home.
  • If approached by a suspicious-looking person, especially at night or in lonely areas, drive off quickly from a stop street or intersection, always heeding traffic danger. Skipping a stop sign or red light remains an offence and the onus is on you to prove that your action was in self-defence.
  • Don't enter your garage or a parking area if you believe you are being followed. Drive to the nearest police station.
  • Don't leave your car door open and the engine running while opening your garage door or gates - criminals can act quicker than you'd expect.
  • Don't be distracted by people handing out flyers at intersections or buy items, such as flowers and newspapers, from unfamiliar vendors.

Surviving a hijacking:

Regardless of the sort of crime and the criminals intentions, the situation is an explosive one in which you both have one thing in mind: survival.

Hijacking involve planning and the criminals are likely to have more experience in such situations, thus more control over you and themselves.

A hijacking is usually over in a matter of seconds or minutes but it is one of the most frightening experiences one can go through. Try your utmost to stay calm. Listen to the hijackers and do as they tell you and you have a greater chance of surviving.

During a hijacking:

Here are some tips on getting through the hijack ordeal alive:

Your life and those with you must be your priority. Resisting the hijackers may cause them to become violent or even deadly.

Remember: possessions can be replaced, a life cannot.

The hijackers are probably just as scared and nervous as you are. They may event be under the influence of drugs or alcohol which may make their actions event more unpredictable.

Try not to panic and do anything the hijackers may not be expecting. Do not scream or make sudden movements, such as motioning with your hands.

Avoid eye contact with them.

Keep your hands where the hijackers can see them, ideally at chest level. This will assure them that you are not reaching for a weapon. Do not raise your hands above your head as they may think you are attracting attention of other people.

If they order you out of the car wait for them to open the door or, if they order you to, do it slowly with one hand, keeping the other where they can see it. Also undo your seatbelt with one hand, preferably the hand furthest from the clip by extending your arm over your body (if it is on your left, use your right hand).

Slowly move away from the car so that you cannot be perceived as a threat to them.

Listen carefully to and make sure you understand what the hijackers are saying and follow their orders.

Quietly but clearly assure the hijackers that they can take the car.

Do not reach for or motion towards items they may demand such as wallets, briefcases and cell phones. Rather tell them where they are and wait for them to get them themselves or they may tell you to hand them over.

Be honest with hijackers. For example, if you have a firearm on you and they ask, tell them you have. Finding out or suspecting you have lied to them may unsettle them and lead to them becoming violent. Tell them honestly how to deactivate any alarms or immobilisers or do it yourself as ordered.

Try and concentrate on the possibility of later identifying the hijackers. Make mental notes of how many there are, what they are wearing, their ages, and any facial or other physical characteristics. However, do not stare at the hijackers; try not to be obvious. To them this means that you will later be able to identify them and be evidence against them and they could become violent or be less hesitate to leave soon.

Hijackers may not notice a sleeping baby in the back seat. If this is the case, tell them and point out that the child is not a threat and will make things more difficult for them. Never move to release the child without them saying you may. Do the same if a pet is in the car but do not push the point to where your life may be threatened at the expense of an animal.

If ordered to lie down, do so and remain there with your head down, do so and remain there with your head down. Do not watch them. Stay still until you are sure they have left and only then go for help.

The hijackers may drive off with you or you may even be ordered to drive. If you are driving, do so responsibly and do not do anything out of the ordinary. Always remain quiet unless you need to reply to a question or clarify an order. Remember to be honest with them.

Once you have been released make sure that you are out of harm's reach before moving to get help, or in case of having a Cellstop Immobilizer fitted, alert the Cellstop Control Centre via an SMS "Hijack" and or "Stop" alarm to immobilize your vehicle.

After a hijacking:

Get help as soon as the hijackers have left you and immediately report it to the police. The Police have a greater chance of catching the criminals while they are on the move in your car.

You experience severe trauma by a hijacking, trauma that can manifest itself in many different ways soon or long after the incident. You need to get professional counselling to help you process what happened and cope with it emotionally. Seek help within hours of the hijacking. Do not fool yourself into thinking you'll "get over it".

Remember that you are not to blame for anything that happened. Criminals look for new opportunities and situations that make their potential victims vulnerable, and develop new techniques to get our vehicles.

Types of hijackings:

Freight Hijacking

A commercial vehicle is hijacked not only to secure the vehicle but also its cargo, which can be of substantial value. Frequently, the cargo is of more interest to the hijacker than the truck.

Transport Hijacking

The vehicle is taken for the express purpose of using it as transport during other crimes such as drug dealing, burglaries, bank robberies and gun running. The vehicles are probably later cannibalised for spare parts or simply dumped.

Showmanship Hijacking

A gang operates out of egotistical bravado, acting on the “this is a cool thing to be doing” rationale. Peer group pressure is very high and individuals may be coerced into more dangerous and daredevil approaches; being labeled a “sissy” if they don’t. Thus intimidation, violence and vandalism are associated with the crime. Drugs and alcohol may also be a motive as theft of the victim’s personal belongings is commonplace.

Operational Hijacking

A group formally work together in a more structured way. They usually have experience in car theft and have established contacts within the motorcar underworld that will receive and pay cash for stolen vehicles or spare parts.

Syndicate Hijacking

The most organised of all and often has international connections. A network of hijacking groups is established with the overall coordinator, syndicating out work so that he remains out of view in exactly the same way as the drug baron uses pushers. This makes identifying and arresting the ultimate boss very difficult. Additionally, a syndicate is often backed by a lot of money, especially if there are international links and makes full use of any potential to bribe the authorities in order to protect their operations.

Taken hostage:

It can be helpful to have a survival plan in the back of your mind should such an incident occur. It is difficult not to become paranoid about being taken hostage. However, it is just as easy to become complacent.

Important fact to remember when hijacked:

Should the conclusion of the drama be by way of armed intervention, and escape is not possible, immediately drop to the ground, remain still and obey the orders of the leader.

If confronted:

  • Do not lose your temper, threaten or challenge the hijacker.
  • Do not resist, especially if the hijacker has a weapon. Surrender your vehicle and move away. Try to put as much distance between yourself and the hijacker(s) as speedily as possible.
  • Do not reach for your purse or valuables. Leave everything in the vehicle.
  • Try to remain calm at all times and do not show signs of aggression.
  • Be compliant to all demands set by the perpetrator.
  • Do not make eye contact with the hijacker. He may perceive this behavior as a threat and retaliate aggressively.
  • Keep your hands still and visible to the hijacker, so as to give him assurance of your passive content.
  • Do not speak too fast (if you are able to talk) and do not make sudden movements.
  • Gather as much information as possible without posing a threat.
    • How many people?
    • How many firearms and description thereof?
    • What were the perpetrators wearing (clothing)?
    • To which direction did they drive off?
    • Take note of the language they use (the accent).
  • First phone the Police Service. They will dispatch the medical services if needed. Other emergency numbers you could phone are RUN (Recovery United Namibia) on Cell No: 081-247-3391
  • Activate the Cellstop vehicle-tracking device, if the vehicle is fitted with one.

The Effects of Trauma:

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

This is the term given to a particular range and combination of reactions following trauma. Reactions following trauma can be divided into three main groups:

Re-experiencing the event – a feeling that you are experiencing the original event all over again, through memories intruding into your waking or sleeping life.

Arousal reactions – you feel persistently aroused, nervous, agitated sense, anxious, tense, unable to settle or concentrate, over-reacting very sharply to small things and especially, having trouble sleeping.

Avoidance reactions – you make frantic efforts to avoid anything that could remind you of the trauma, or cause you to think or talk about it in any way. You may shut down your feelings about other people and things you normally care about and keep to yourself. You may feel unusually withdrawn and emotionally numb.

Five stages of trauma / loss:

  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance

The following is some general advice to help you cope with trauma in general and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in particular:


  • Express your emotions.
  • Talk about what has happened as often as you need to. Seek trauma counselling.
  • Try to keep your life as normal as possible by following daily routines.
  • Find opportunities to review the experience.
  • Look to friends and colleagues for support.


  • Use alcohol, nicotine or other drugs to hide your feelings.
  • Simply stay away from work or isolate yourself. Seek help and support instead (counselling).
  • Allow anger and irritability to mask your feelings.
  • Hide your feelings and be afraid to ask for help.
  • Think your feelings are a sign of weakness.

Remember that your life is worth more than your vehicle!

Tell a friend

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Hijacking Tips