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Don’t fall victim to smash and grabs

Published on: 22 September 2016

Don't fall victim to smash and grabs

You’re at the traffic light, minding your own business, when suddenly there’s glass everywhere and your belongings have disappeared off with someone else… a reality experienced by many in this country.

Smash and grabs are quick and often catch you off-guard. They purely play on the element of speed and surprise. Yes, we are aware that things happen, but we all have moments where we think we know the area so we let our guard down – and there’s nothing like a shocking moment of paralysis to give you a quick wake-up call.

It can happen to just about anyone, anywhere.

We understand that emotions get heightened in the moment and often leave you feeling helpless, so we’ve put together tips to help you avoid being a victim of the Speedy Gonzales smashers.

  1. The first and most important tip – be AWARE of your surroundings. Do your best to be vigilant of what’s happening around you – avoid distractions such as cell phones or even passengers!
  2. Keep your doors locked and, if possible, windows closed or rolled down slightly – but not enough to give access to slippery fingers. Smash and grabs doesn’t only happen with closed windows, and a slightly open window is more flexible and resistant to shattering.
  3. Put your belongings where they will not be in plain sight and end up as easy targets. Putting them in the boot is a great idea!
  4. Be on the lookout for any obstacles on the road. If you there’s shattered glass on the road, this could be an indication of a smash and grab hotspot. If you hit strange debris in the road (like rocks on a highway which would normally be clean, etc.), don’t get out of your car to check – rather drive (safely) to a secure area where you can check out whether there is any damage. If it’s safe (and feasible) to, reverse and drive off in a different direction.
  5. When driving late at night, slow down well in advance to avoid stopping at a traffic light - slow down enough for the light to turn green by the time you reach the intersection but not slow enough to put yourself in danger. Remember to check the intersection for cars which may be trying to skip the red light before you zoom off.
  6. If possible, avoid the outer lanes and use the middle lane. Smash and grabbers like to hide in bushes, behind trees or lurk around the outer lanes.
  7. When stopping at an intersection, leave enough space between you and the car ahead – you should be able to see the back tyres of the car in front of you. This way, you have an escape route should you need to use it.
  8. Pimp up your windows with a protective smash and grab film – don’t just make it harder for criminals to get access, make it even harder for them to see into your private mobile space.

The reality is that you can only do so much to avoid being a victim, but being equipped with tips can help gain a few minutes to regain composure and make an escape to safety. Arrive Alive gives detailed information on what is often targeted, where you are most at risk and the types of methods used by the grabbers. Be in the know!

Should you find yourself in a roadside emergency, remember that our MiHelp agents are here to get you through it - 24/7. In the unfortunate event of a claim, MiWay will assign a dedicated claims handler to you to serve as your point of contact throughout the claims process.