Are “new scheme” stories on hijackings purely the makings of one inebriated mind that have been allowed to morph into urban legend, or do these tales hold water.

Are “new scheme” stories on hijackings purely the makings of one inebriated mind that have been allowed to morph into urban legend, or do these tales hold water.

Recently, a story from a local rag about a possible new hijacking ploy has been doing the rounds. The ruse, also circulated via e-mail, goes something like this… A life-like doll is left in the road for some good Samaritan to rescue. Of course, by the time the person realises it’s a sham, the perpetrators will be making off in his or her car, en route to the nearest chop shop for some “restorative work”.

While many have been lucky enough to escape unharmed (though without wheels) several people have come off much worse, being assaulted, maimed or murdered for good measure.

Sure, many hijackings can be avoided and the SAPS and other independent agencies have released tips on what to do when faced with such a situation, but I can think of very few people who would be able to “negotiate” with a hijacker, especially an armed one. Also, injuring a criminal while protecting what is rightfully yours could also see you standing on the wrong side of the law once the dung hits the aircon duct.

But is the doll story, or the other oft-told tales of rocks, branches and other obstacles strewn across the road true, or just more meat to the South African paranoia potjiekos? In the doll incident, nothing happened to the driver since a security guard stopped at the same time, apparently preventing an attack. Some have even questioned the hijack theory, but is there really any logical reason why a doll made to resemble a human would be placed in the middle of a road for any other reason?

We all drive around in mobile high security cocoons, and these sophisticated security systems have led regular vehicle thieves to find other ways of acquiring their merchandise. Since these syndicates seem to be enjoying the upper hand at the moment, beyond avoiding hijacking hotspots and only yielding at traffic intersections after dark, is there really anything regular motorists can do to protect themselves?

Or are we meant to be paranoid travellers, glaring at the hanger/plastic peg/visor vendors staking out the traffic intersections, trying to figure out what their ulterior motives may be?

From a more serious and very frustrated Jasmine – ciao for now!

Original article from Car