Hijacking academy educates communities

Richard Brussow from the National Hijacking Prevention Academy demonstrates what to do during a hijacking.

The National Hijacking Prevention Academy (NHPA) and ADT security partnered to educate the community of Westdene on hijacking.

Richard Brussow, director NHPA who has been investigating hijackings for 21 years, talked through different scenarios in which you can be a victim and how to avoid it.

Brussow said that hijackings take place in driveways, parking lots, during test drives, at filling stations and even at traffic lights. He said that the number of cars that were hijacked in 2014 according to insurance claims, was 14 000 and the numbers have increased since. He urged community members to be vigilant when they are outside their gates. “An average automatic gate takes 11 to 14 seconds to open,” he added. He said that people should be aware of this to calculate when to get into their yards.

Brussow said that if you are getting hijacked in your driveway and you have an opportunity to run, you should not run to your house, which seems like the safest place at the time. If you can, run to the street and limit the robbery to a hijacking and not a housebreaking as well.

He added that we should forget the perception that hijackers drive a certain car. If you see a car that you do not know and are suspicious of on your street, always approach with caution and drive slow if you are not sure. “Robbers usually use cars that blend in with the environment in which they are operating,” he said.

When you have to open your gate manually, Brussow said that most people exit their cars with their keys. He said that if someone trying to hijack you, they will be forced to come to you if you have the key. “Rather leave the car running and close the door while you open the gate.

He said that for mothers who have their children in the backseat, in the cases that the police have seen, the children are usually not harmed. If you can, calmly tell the hijackers that there is a child in the car as they usually do not check the backseat.

If you feel you are being followed, play with your indicators to confuse the person behind you. If you are going into unfamiliar territory, always communicate with a loved one to let them know where you are.

Always ensure a safe distance where you can see the back wheels of the car in front of you. “If you are brave enough to run, do not be scared to damage your car,” said Brussow. Lastly he said that people should not trade in their cars for gem stones, “It is illegal and if the stones are not real, you cannot report it to the police if you have been scammed,” he said.

Brussow concluded with a demonstration, showing how one should act when one is being hijacked. “Put your hands up and follow the hijackers instructions,” he said.

Related article:

Attempted hijacking gone wrong



Lesego Moyo

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