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The indication from Tracker is that South African vehicle crime continues to rise. After allowing for annual subscriber volume increases, Tracker’s base experienced a 12% increase in theft in 2022, compared to 2021, and a 14% increase in hijackings for the same period. These numbers are drawn from Tracker's Vehicle Crime Index (VCI) that aggregates data from over 1.1 million Tracker-installed vehicles.

Incidents for the year 2022 sit some 13% above 2021 volumes. Gauteng incidents rose by more than 18%. The largest contributor to this increase was vehicle theft, which rose 22% year-on-year. Gauteng hijacking incidents in 2022 were also 15% higher than the previous year.

Tracker reports a similar trend in the Western Cape, with a 14% increase in year-on-year vehicle crime incidents being reported from their aggregated data. While Western Cape incident volumes are significantly less than those in Gauteng, they nonetheless are mirroring the upward trend observed nationally and in Gauteng.  

Violent vehicle crime incidents have continued their upward trajectory in KZN. Tracker noted a 25% increase in hijackings to its KZN base from 2020 to 2021, and this escalates a further 8% during 2022. While KZN’s theft/hijacking ratio for 2020 was reported at 54% for thefts and 46% for hijackings, it is now hijackings accounting for 54% of KZN incidents.  

While vehicle crime incidents occur seven days a week and throughout the day and night, reported thefts were more prevalent between 11am and 8pm, and these theft volumes escalated on Saturdays. Hijacking was marginally elevated on Fridays, and between the hours of 4pm and 8pm. 

“These year-on-year increases in observed incident volumes to our base significantly exceed our annual subscriber growth. We saw opportunistic vehicle crime, like hijackings, increase during the Covid lockdown period and this violent crime has unfortunately remained elevated following a return to normal daily routines. Moreover, thefts are also on the rise, with newer criminal tactics such as keyless entry theft contributing to this increase.”

Tracker is committed to the care and protection of its customers, their families and their assets. Since inception in 1996, Tracker has assisted in the arrest of over 20,000 criminals and has recovered over 119,000 vehicles – 6,356 of these recoveries took place in 2022.