South Africa is known for being a hot spot for car jamming incidents where criminals acquaint themselves with the latest car jamming devices to rob people of their in-vehicle belongings, or the entire vehicle, when they least expect it.
Although car jamming is not a new concept to South Africans, it continues to grow in popularity among criminals. In fact, the 2017 Victims of Crime Survey reveals that there were 42 703 incidents of motor vehicle thefts, and 129 880 cases of ‘theft out of’ a motor vehicle (items stolen from a vehicle) from 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017 alone. And as technology continuously advances, criminals are becoming even smarter when it comes to vehicle jamming. This type of crime has become ever more popular at shopping centres, school parking lots and even in driveways.
If anything, these statistics should propel consumers to be more aware of their surroundings and ensure that their vehicles are safely locked before leaving their cars unattended. So, let’s take a look at this technology and how it affects you.
If you aren’t familiar with this, it would be good to understand that any standard GSM and GPS telematics device, used to locate a vehicle, may be susceptible to illegal signal jamming by criminals. When activated, a signal jammer prevents the telematics device from communicating its immediate position to the vehicle recovery service provider. However, this is only temporary, and the vehicle recovery service company will again pick up a signal once the vehicle is out of jamming range.
So where do criminals get these devices? Well, these illegal GSM and GPS jamming devices are acquired on the black market – some even on the internet, which are then used to hijack cars or give criminals access to in–vehicle possessions. These devices vary in size, and certain jamming devices can be plugged into the vehicle’s cigarette-lighter jack-socket, which then blocks all signals of the vehicle’s position.
Criminals don’t only use signal jamming to hijack vehicles, often times they use signal jamming to gain easy access to valuables such as handbags, phones or laptops left inside the vehicle when a person leaves the car after parking, thinking it is safely locked. This can result in losses worth thousands of rands and insurance companies sometimes do not cover consumers in such instances.
Fortunately, with the latest technological solutions in vehicle recovery, there are service providers who have been highly successful in addressing the many techniques criminals use to steal vehicles. So, while there is no fool-proof security device, you can take preventative measures like investing in a systems/service that can protect your vehicle against a myriad of threats, including jamming devices – ensuring your assets are looked after, at all times.
As life is so unpredictable, one cannot be fully certain whether you will become a victim of such an incident. However, take steps to ensure that you are able to safeguard your vehicle and personal items. Always check twice that your vehicle is locked and park in a visible area where there is movement, rather than in a quiet parking spot. You can rest assured that Beame has you covered, keeping you and your wheels safe.