Pedestrians waiting for e-hailing services being targeted: Sandton & Bryanston areaSubmitted by Jacqui
Fidelity ADT warns of an increase in pedestrians being targeted while waiting for an e-hailing service in the Bryanston and Sandton areas.
Josh Nel, Branch manager for Fidelity ADT says, “The issue of cell phone snatching happens any time of day, whether people are dining at a restaurant and leave the cell phone on the table or if they are waiting outside on the pavement for an Uber. I urge everyone not to be complacent. We have noticed a new trend where criminals are driving around pretending to be an e-hailing service looking for opportunities to commit crime.
The number of incidents has increased dramatically in recent weeks. He says “These criminals will pretend to be Ubers and target unsuspecting victims. We are urging residents to be vigilant. Make sure you check the vehicle registration of the vehicle that is meant to fetch you on the app. Rather wait inside your gate until you have verified that you are getting into the right vehicle.
He offers residents the following advice to keep safe:
- Make sure you know what the load shedding roster is so that you can plan your walk to a certain destination. Never walk in darkness so ensure you can return home before it is dark
- Don’t walk with earphones listening to music. You have to be able to look and listen
- Where possible walk with someone to just make you a little less vulnerable. Two people can also help to identify the perpetrators and the vehicle they are traveling in better than one. This will help us to get the criminals behind bars and to keep them there
- If you are a victim of an attempted phone snatching, remember to report the incident even if it was just an attempt. A crime is not a crime and will not get recorded unless it is reported
- Hide your valuables/cell phone in your bag or inside your jacket pocket. You need to ensure your phone is not visible to passers-by. You must also never talk on your phone while out walking as this makes you an easy target
“Remember that criminals are usually nervous and working under pressure so they can make mistakes. It is better to just give them what they want and avoid being injured. That same message needs to be communicated to your children so everyone understands the rules,” concludes Nel.
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