There has been an increase in dangerous follow-home incidents over the last few years, particularly where unsuspecting victims are followed home from airports, malls or other public places. The “follow home” crime syndicates are well-organised gangs. There is a spotter tasked with identifying a suitable victim in the mall, at the airport, or at the bank. This person is in contact with the rest of the gang who will be waiting outside in a car. This vehicle then pursues the victim, and robs them when they are in their driveway at home.
The following advice is given to avoid falling victim to a follow-home incident:
- Always check the rear-view mirror to see if you are being followed.
- Avoid displaying cash or large amounts of jewellery when out shopping, especially when travelling without another adult companion.
- Ladies on their own or with their children are usually targeted by these syndicates.
- Double-check that your vehicle is locked when parking at the mall.
- Report any suspicious lone persons on foot to mall security.
- Be aware of people watching you when pushing your trolley towards the car and packing your shopping into the car.
- Be vigilant when leaving a shopping centre, airport or bank.
- Plan your route and let someone know what your it is and when to expect to arrive at your destination.
- Have your key ready but not visible, and unlock your car when you are close by.
- Put all valuables out of sight.
- Avoid driving with your windows open and keep the doors locked.
- Before leaving for home, ensure that the remote for your driveway and garage are with you and not in your boot or anywhere else beyond arm’s reach whilst you’re in the driver’s seat.
- When driving, make use of your mirrors to take a mental note of vehicles which have followed you for extended periods of time, particularly when driving from malls. If the vehicle is still behind you when you near your driveway, do not stop or slow down. Instead, go around the block and proceed to the nearest police station, or any other place of safety. Ask your private security company to either meet you at your home or escort you back home, if you feel unsafe.
- Do not use your mobile phone while driving. This will distract you from warning signs of a follow-home robbery.
- Make sure that your driveway is well lit and clear of shrubbery.
- If possible, park in a central well-lit area 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.
- Change your routes and your schedule if possible on a regular basis.
- Make arriving at your destination safer by calling ahead and asking someone to open and close your gate for you.
What to do if you suspect that you are being followed:
- Proceed immediately to the nearest police station.
- Do not go to your home. Do not stop your vehicle.
- When approaching a red traffic light, slow down so that you only reach it when it turns green.
- DO NOT STOP in your driveway if you suspect that you are being followed
Additionally, if you are in a hijacking situation, the police recommend the following:
- Do not lose your temper, threaten or challenge the hijacker.
- Do exactly what they tell you to do.
- Do not resist, especially if the hijacker has a weapon. Surrender your vehicle and move away.
- Do not reach for your purse or valuables, leave everything in the vehicle.
- Be compliant to all demands set by the perpetrator.
- Keep your hands still and visible to the hijacker.
Arrive Secure with Magma Security Consultants
We offer our clients a full-service security solution. To fulfil the needs of a reliable, safe and professional driving service, we established Arrive Secure as one of our subsidiaries, to provide our clients with a secure solution while they are moving in and around South Africa.
We can tailor a solution for single individuals as well as multinational groups.
- Road reconnaissance
- Unsurpassed ability to deploy rapidly
- Risk assessment
- Route planning
- Meet and greet
- Airport chaperone
- Movement tracking
- Vehicle following
For more information on Arrive Secure, visit http://arrivesecure.co.za
Find out more about our security services and contact us to request a quote: https://magmaconsultants.co.za/security-services-company/