The majority of the vehicle thefts are taking place during the week and occur between the hours of 12pm and 6pm, says Dialdirect. Picture: EUGENE COETZEE
The majority of the vehicle thefts are taking place during the week and occur between the hours of 12pm and 6pm, says Dialdirect. Picture: EUGENE COETZEE

Insurance provider Dialdirect has reported a spike in vehicle theft during the early period of the year, based on its claims data.

“The spike follows a festive season lull indicating that criminals also take a break over the holidays. Now that 2020 is in full swing, criminals are back in force and we urge our customers to remain vigilant,” says Bianca De Beer from Dialdirect Insurance.

The majority of the vehicle thefts are taking place during the week and occur between the hours of 12pm and 6pm.

The modus operandi is to target vehicles while parked on the street, unoccupied.  Usually, two or more suspects scan the area for possible targets. Once they have chosen their mark, the suspects will park their own vehicle near or next to their mark. To remain inconspicuous, the criminals act like they are working on their vehicle or waiting for someone.

It’s a different story at King Price Insurance and Outsurance though. Natasha Kawulesar of Outsurance says: “We have not experienced a spike in theft or hijack claims and our claims volumes for theft and hijack during the Easter periods are on par with the rest of the year.  In fact, we have observed a gradual reduction in both theft and hijack over the past number of years."

Wynand van Vuuren, client experience partner at King Price said: “The theft frequency has been consistent since June last year. We do see a spike from time to time and all that we suspect is that these are times when the syndicates are just more active."

Whatever the case, it's prudent to be vigilant at all times and avoid becoming a victim of vehicle theft.

Dialdirect offers the following advice:

Park your vehicle in a well-lit, busy area.

Don’t leave any parcels or valuable items on the seat.

Increase your vehicle’s security by installing a good alarm system and immobiliser.

Have a vehicle-tracking device fitted to your vehicle.

Repair broken windows or locks timeously.

Check to see that your vehicle is indeed locked and that remote jamming did not occur.

If you have a vehicle-tracking device installed, immediately call your tracking company to report the theft.

Report it to the SAPS and file a stolen vehicle report within 48 hours.

Make sure you have the vehicle details such as model, colour, vehicle identification and registration numbers available to assist with the identification and recovery of the vehicle.

Report your claim to your insurance company. If your vehicle is stolen after hours, call your insurance company on the next working day.

“There is no quick-fix for this problem, however heightened security is probably the best way to discourage criminals, and the more deterrent you have the better,” concludes De Beer.