South Africa’s Jozi has become a prominent statistic of smash and grab crimes – the most common street robbery and 14th most frequent crime, in South Africa.

Smash and grabs have urbanized into a 24-hour norm around the busy intersections of Johannesburg’s metropolitan – Sandton and Centurion – or otherwise known as Jozi’s ‘S&G hotspots’. Here, motorists have become victim at bumper-to-bumper traffic, as well as at traffic lights.

Most of the city’s smash and grabs are reported to have taken place at the same locations. S&G criminals are therefore operating in the same locations – achieving evidential success at almost every reported incident.

The criminals often work in pairs. One distracts the driver, while the other ‘smashes’ for valuables such as bags, mobile phones and clothing. Victims usually include those driving alone, and more so, women.

SAPS has highlighted Jozi’s smash and grab hotspots:

1. William Nicol Drive; Riviera Road; and New Road off-ramps

2. Christiaan de Wet and Wilgerood intersections

3. Louis Botha Avenue traffic lights

4. Old Pretoria Road corner

5. Parkwood; Saxonwold; Upper Houghton; Killarney; Parkhurst; Glenhazel; Lombardy East; Sandringham Orange Grove; Highlands North; Yeoville; Bellevue; Wynberg; Bramley; Marlboro; and Kew.

If you have not become victim to smash and grabs, you need to remain cautious and vigilant while driving next to large settlements; which makes for an easy getaway.

Avoid becoming the next smash and grab target. Taking safe driving precautions will prevent S&G incidents. Lock your doors; keep the windows closed; be extra alert of your surroundings; keep valuables locked in your boot; keep the glove-box empty; turn down your radio; and maintain a clear following distance.

With smash and grabs taking its toll in one of Africa’s most loved cities, Jozi, maybe it is time to sell your car.

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