Cape Town smash and grab attacks on the rise – Here is how to minimise the risk of an attack


Cape Town has had a marked increase in smash and grab attempts. Frequently travelled corridors of the Mother City such as Jakes Gerwel drive at Langa have seen criminals target unsuspecting drivers by seeking to snatch valuable items such as cell phones and handbags.

The City of Cape Town municipality has informed Radio 786 that unknown groups are constantly shifting their areas of operation. While CCTV cameras play some role in keeping a watchful eye, it has not been most effective in pre-empting attacks and or leading to the successful prosecution of perpetrators.

Where are the Hotspots?

  • The N2 off-ramp to Jakes Gerwel Drive and Jakkalsvlei Avenue between Langa and Bonteheuwel.
  • Bishop Lavis at the intersection of Robert Sobukwe Road and 35th Avenue.
  • On the R300 intersections at Jakes Gerwel
  • Military road and Prince George intersection near Lavender Hill.

How to minimise the risk of an attack?

  1. Place all valuables such as a handbag or laptop in the boot.
  2. Do not have your mobile device visible.
  3. Leave your window slightly open by 1 inch to avoid a loud bang and shatter of the window in the event of an attempted grab.
  4. Lock all your doors when driving.
  5. Do not park too close to the vehicle in front of you to minimise the risk of any fender-bender in the event you try to speed away.
  6. Lookout for individuals loitering around and avoid getting involved in discussions with persons on foot.
  7. Lookout for suspicious-looking characters.
  8. Be aware of your surroundings, especially when approaching and stopping in an intersection.
  9. Avoid confronting attackers, as they may be armed, and further confrontation could risk your life.

In the event you happen to be a victim of this type of crime, report it to the nearest police station from where the incident occurred.

You may also contact the City of Cape Town’s emergency centre on 021 480 7700 or the South African Police Service at 10 111.


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