Vehicle tracking services company Ctrack, an Inseego company, recently intercepted a carjacking attempt in KwaZulu-Natal, resulting in the capture of three suspects and a wanted criminal.

National crime statistics (2015/2016) released in September reveal an alarming increase in hijackings in South Africa, which rose by 14.3% over the previous 12-month period. This amounts to a total of 14,602 carjacking incidents. Although most common in the densely-populated Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal is now the second-most prevalent hijacking location nationally.

Acting National Police Commissioner Lieutenant General Khomotso Phahlane said the sharp rise in carjacking incidents, totalling a 55% increase over the last four years, are partly the result of modern security features making parked cars harder to steal. The report shows a decrease in vehicle theft across all provinces.

Recently, Ctrack intercepted a carjacking attempt involving one of its Uber driver clients. It managed to keep both customer and car safe from the group of violent criminals.

The incident occurred near Hillcrest, KwaZulu-Natal, after the driver picked up who he believed were two potential customers near Watercrest Mall. Sensing danger almost immediately, the vigilant customer alerted Ctrack’s Emergency Response Centre via his Ctrack-fitted panic button.

After several unsuccessful attempts to contact the client by phone, the agent escalated the situation for further investigation and a Ctrack Response Team was promptly dispatched to the vehicle’s location. “Using GPS coordinates, our team was able to quickly track the car down, and found it abandoned next to the Umgeni River,” said Ctrack SA’s MD, Pierre Bruwer.

Blood and keys were found inside the Uber driver’s vehicle, so when a suspicious Kia appeared down the pathway shortly thereafter, the team detained its three occupants and contacted the police.

The Uber driver was found next to the road, not long after the Ctrack Response Team had come on the scene, and was able to confirm the details of the hijacking.

All three suspects were arrested. The vehicle was linked to more crimes, including a house robbery in Empangeni and a police shootout in Westville. The blood found in their vehicle linked these crimes together and also led police to another suspect, who was later arrested in hospital.

Ctrack’s panic button service is available as an add-on to any Ctrack vehicle tracking product, or as a standalone value-added service through Ctrack’s Advanced Protector. The 24/7 emergency assistance panic button has been used successfully in many hijacking situations such as this one.

To find out more about Ctrack’s Advanced Protector and other vehicle tracking solutions for private car owners, please go to: www.ctrack.com/vehicle-tracking.