South Africa

Cape drivers warned to be on high alert with smash-and-grabs on the rise

Cape drivers warned to be on high alert with smash-and-grabs on the rise
Cape Town - The ongoing smash-and-grab robberies on motorists and school pupils in Lavender Hill, Retreat, at the military Road intersection has residents in the area up in arms.

Clive Jacobs, a community activist in and around Lavender Hill, said smash-and-grab robberies were out of control, “and at the peak of our Christmas season many of these attacks might lead to murder”.

Jacobs said the police showed very little interest and asked communities and victims to report cases, “but the victims fear for the lives”.

“I feel justice can be served if law enforcement agencies take note of these negativities. Communities and children are at risk, I have lobbied all the years to combat this ongoing crime.”

Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz condemned the “prevalence” of smash-and-grabs occurring within communities.

“As we move into the festive period, I urge commuters to take the necessary precautions including increased vigilance, leaving space between vehicles, winding up windows particularly at intersections, placing valuables in the boot of the car so that they are out of sight and not to use their cellphones while driving,” Fritz said.

He said he would liaise with the City of Cape Town to alert them to possible hotspot areas and determine whether there is any action that can be taken.

Casey Rousseau, marketing manager of 1st for Women Insurance said smash-and-grab attacks demand immediate and effective action.

“Although authorities are taking several steps to combat smash-and-grab incidents, it is up to you, the motorist to avoid becoming a victim by remaining as thoroughly prepared, vigilant and alert as possible,” Rousseau said.

She said street intersections, stop signs or driveways were regarded as smash-and-grab hotspots at any given time.

“Always remain on full alert when stationary in your vehicle and avoid being distracted.”

“When you approach an intersection, leave a reasonable stopping distance between you and the car in front of you, to allow yourself room to manoeuvre and escape any dangerous situation,” Rousseau said.

She said motorists must not confront the smash-and-grabbers, “as they may be armed and further confrontation could risk the life of the victim”.

The police said if in doubt about the safety of an area, phone a police station for advice and help.

Anyone with any information on these attacks should immediately report it to the police on 086 001 0111.

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Cape Argus