To date, the overwhelming proportion of all the hijackers have been men, and occasionally women, operating in groups of four or five, sometimes more. The hijackers tend to be very young, in their teens and early twenties, although some victims report the presence of a ‘team leader’ who seemed
older. Women are being used to lull potential victims into a false sense of security, since most of us feel less threatened in the presence of a woman as opposed to a man. These people are sometimes well dressed, but not always. They may wear a jacket or jersey under which they may conceal weapons, mostly handguns and knives, but occasionally AK47 assault rifles. The hijackers operate from motorcars, although they have been known to attack on foot. The cars they use vary, but are normally high performance vehicles, sometimes with tinted windows. Their driving habits are immediately suspicious. Before an attack they may cruise slowly around a particulararea (often for days before the attack) without any apparent sense of purpose or specific direction. They may also simply sit in the car parked off the road or in a parking garage. Immediately after an
attack, their driving patterns change dramatically. They will speed off, driving perhaps nervously and recklessly, but often with an air of bravado as if enjoying or flaunting publicly their total disregard for the law and the innocent person they have just attacked. They might ignore red traffic lights, jump stop streets and weave in and out through traffic, especially on motorways. This renders them highly visible to the public and this is where private citizens can play a vital role in assisting these people’s arrest.
The police are urging citizens to make use of the 10111 telephone number if they find themselves in a hijack situation. It is also open to anyone who sees a suspicious looking vehicle either following them or loitering around the neighbourhood.