Tracker recently reached the milestone of 100,000 vehicle recoveries. Picture: SUPPLIED
Tracker recently reached the milestone of 100,000 vehicle recoveries. Picture: SUPPLIED

There was an 18% decrease in vehicle thefts and hijackings in SA during December compared with the five preceding months, according to Tracker statistics.

The trend is consistent year on year, with an 18% decrease in December 2018 and a 21% decrease in December 2017, according to a press release from the firm, which reported that in January 2020 it reached the milestone of 100,000 vehicle recoveries since its 1996 inception.

The insights into vehicle theft and hijacking trends come from Tracker’s 1.1-million installed vehicle base, said to be the country’s largest. They reveal the days and time of day when vehicle crime is most prevalent and also the towns most affected in all nine provinces.

The data shows that most vehicles are hijacked or stolen on a Saturday, followed by Thursday and Friday for hijackings and theft, respectively. Most hijackings are reported between 8pm and 9pm followed by 12pm and 2pm, on any day of the week, while most vehicle thefts are reported between 11am and 2pm.

Gauteng has the highest percentage of vehicle-related crime (54%), with hijackings prevalent in Johannesburg and theft mainly occurring in Pretoria. Next up is KwaZulu-Natal, with Durban the worst-hit city in terms of both hijackings and theft. It is followed by the Western Cape, with hijackings mostly taking place in Khayelitsha and theft highest in Cape Town.

Other hotspots include Emalahleni in Mpumalanga, Ibhayi in the Eastern Cape, Rustenburg in the North West, Polokwane in Limpopo and Bloemfontein in the Free State. While the Northern Cape has less than 1% of the total activations, hijackings are primarily reported in Postmasburg and theft in Kimberley.

Tracker reported 3,081 vehicle recoveries, 512 arrests and 23 firearms recovered in the second half of 2019.

The company advises motorists to remain vigilant at all times, as criminals rely on people being distracted and vulnerable.