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Here are 10 ways to help prevent a smash-and-grab


WITH the amount of traffic jams that occur at just about every intersection throughout Johannesburg on a daily basis, criminals simply have to take advantage! All those cars, filled with valuable goods and unsuspecting drivers. Smash-and-grabs happen daily and there are even marked hotspots around the city.

We have 10 steps that might help you prevent a smash-and-grab:

Step 1:

 Always keep all doors locked and avoid looking at yourself in the mirror. Rather keep an eye on your surroundings.

Step 2:

Never open your windows or get into discussions with street vendors or anyone handing out flyers. If you do open your window, open it just enough so that they can hear you.

Step 3:

Do not leave your handbag, cell phone or anything of value in plain sight. Rather hide the temptation in the boot or under the passenger seat. What’s more, you can run the seatbelt through your handbag straps a few times and clip it in place. That way the crooks won’t be able to run off with your valuables.

Step 4:

Always be conscious of your surroundings and remain alert when approaching an intersection or when coming to a stop. Always be on the lookout for suspicious characters and keep an eye on your blind spot.

Step 5:

If it’s late at night, slow down well in advance so that the traffic light changes green by the time you reach the intersection. Try and stay as mobile as possible. Do not slow down if someone jumps out in front of you trying to force you to stop. Go through the red light or drive around the person. If you feel as though you’re being followed, don’t go home - keep moving and phone for help.

Step 6:

Keep an eye out for any obstacles on the road (tyres, rocks, bricks, bottles). Do not get out of your car to remove these. Sometimes thieves will throw eggs at cars; do not turn your wipers on as this will cause the egg to smudge and will drastically decrease your vision.

Step 7:

Leave a gap between you and the car in front of you to give you room to escape (that is, drive away from the scene), if anything should happen. You don’t want to be stuck in a tight spot. Also, try and open your house’s gate before you get to it. That way as you approach you can close it. This will decrease the crook’s ability to block the gate or sneak into your yard.

Step 8:

Be especially wary whenever you see broken glass lying on the road. If the pieces of glass are still scattered across the road, chances are that a smash-and-grab occurred just recently.

Step 9:

If you don’t have smash-and-grab film installed, leave your window open slightly (approximately three centimetres, but less than five centimetres) whilst driving. This makes the glass more flexible and more resistant against shattering if they’re struck by a sharp object.

Step 10:

Fit your window with protective tinted smash-and-grab film. If they do happen to get into your car and they grab your handbag, then, in the words from Frozen, let it go, let it go. It can be replaced. Confronting a thief or a criminal might result in a more serious and unfortunate outcome as most of them never work alone.

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