Although the nature of crime events remain unpredictable, violent crime is an ever-present threat in the community.  While most crimes are opportunistic in character, it is important to remain alert to meticulously planned and choreographed crime events.

With the current economic climate impacting unemployment rates, job security and poverty lines, opportunistic crime are expectedly on the rise. We connected with the Secure Rite Armed response team to understand what crime events or patterns appear more prominent lately and what we can do to avoid them.

1. Home break-in trends and patterns

Even though weather conditions have been erratic with cold fronts, rain and strong winds keeping us all indoors, break-in activity continued to rise. Crime doesn’t mind the cold it seems.

Here are some top mentions on home break-in patterns and access opportunities onto property:

  • Open back / side doors
  • Unlocked back/ side doors
  • Open garage doors
  • Unlocked garage doors
  • Open front gates
  • Front gates left slightly open (usually due to motor malfunction)
  • Refuse bins left outside (these are easy to hide in and provide a helpful lift over a wall if needed)
  • Unserviced alarm equipment (flat batteries on sensors, beams or alarm units)
  • Homes appearing empty and unoccupied
  • Overgrown gardens and full postboxes give the impression that no one is home

“ Too often we see front gates open, garage doors open or windows left open. This creates opportunity and we urge everyone to please be aware of weak spots” says Herman Ras, Armed Response Manager at Secure Rite.

2. Vehicle Break-ins

It seems that overall vehicle break-ins and the theft of valuables from vehicles have increased of late. While in some cases, criminals gain access to valuables inside the vehicle by breaking a window or tampering with the lock, the growing trend is the use of remote jamming devices, which prevents the car from locking.

“These crimes predominately take place in open driveways, petrol station parking lots, public parking along main roads and outside shopping centers during the day and commonly involve two perpetrators,” says Secure Rite.

Irrespective of the type of vehicle, your car is at risk of a break-in.

Here are some top tips to avoid vehicle break-in crime:

  • Make sure you park your vehicle in a secure, well-lit space, preferably where a security guard is nearby
  • Be mindful of remote jamming – check manually that the door handle is locked, even if the locked alarm has sounded
  • Be vigilant as you get out of your car – “sliders”(criminals who appear to be simply walking by) are opportunistic and take chances by opening the car door in the split second before you lock it and escaping with valuables
  • Clear your car out at the end of each day, so that you leave nothing behind that can tempt criminals
  • Anti-smash-and-grab film on your windows offers an additional layer of protection against break-ins
  • Valuables such as phones, chargers and handbags should be kept out of sight, even while driving
  • Never leave house keys or important papers in your car
  • Physically tug the door handle of your car to ensure it is locked


“When getting out of your car, be sure to look around you; if you see a car with occupants that look suspicious, trust your gut instinct, report the suspicion and move to a place of safety,” says Herman Ras from Secure Rite.

The truth is, that so many of us still live with the notion of ‘It will never happen to me’, but can we afford that mindset when crime is a day to day reality in South Africa. It’s impossible to be everywhere at one time and it’s impossible to be alert to every possible threat or opportunistic criminal around us. But, with simple checks and balances to our daily routine, we can highly minimise our risk and exposure to crime events. So double-check if those doors are locked and don’t leave that packet on the floor of your car. It could be a bigger deterrent than we realise.

Contact us for all your home and business security needs. We supply, install and serve security needs in the Helderberg Basin.

We do security, you do life.

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