Three cheers to Ctrack, the telematics specialist, for recently pouncing on a number of criminals who used signal jamming – an increasingly popular form of preventing a telematics unit from broadcasting its position to the service provider – to hijack a truck and trailer.
It all started when Ctrack’s call centre received a distress call from a customer who was experiencing difficulty in locating her vehicle – a truck and trailer – through the telematics device.
“The customer called us as she was trying to request a position from the unit but was not receiving response. The client also informed us that she could not reach the driver or his assistant driver on either of their phones. All this alerted us of a possible hijack,” says Hein Jordt, MD of Ctrack’s Fleet Management Solutions division.
Ctrack acted immediately by issuing a ‘hijack alert’ on the vehicle and implemented a number of back-end activities through their technology to facilitate the search. Shortly afterwards, the truck – with its cargo – was located in Midrand via Ctrack’s jamming detection solution and a team of in-house recovery experts was dispatched to the identified area.
On arriving at the location, Ctrack’s response team confronted three suspects and apprehended them until the SAPS arrived and arrested them. Other stolen vehicles – possibly getaway vehicles or vehicles that would be stripped for automotive parts – were found on the scene.
“The signal jamming device that was used in the hijacking was also found. Instances of signal jamming in South Africa are occurring on a more frequent basis and we are finding that this technology is becoming more prolific in the hands of criminals,” says Jordt.
In the same week, a stolen bakkie was also recovered which was taken from the premises of a small business in Gauteng during a weekend heist. Bakkies and trucks, however, aren’t the only vehicles being targeted by tech-savvy criminals in South Africa. In the previous week, Ctrack’s response team recovered a client’s 2015 Range Rover Supercharged, which was hijacked on the R511 on the outskirts of Johannesburg.
“Considering the fact that criminals are investing in technology to commit crime, it remains critically important that South Africans consider their ‘visibility’ status,” says Jordt, adding that Ctrack is confident they have the insights and technology to beat the hijacking scourge. “Our latest recoveries also prove that we go the extra mile in ensuring our customers get their belongings back,” says Jordt.
Well done Ctrack. Thank goodness we have companies like yours around.