What To Do During A Cash-In-Transit Heist

South Africans are being exposed to a surge in Cash-In-Transit heist operations. Should the worst happen, what can you do to remain safe?
Jason Snyman
2018-06-20
CIT (Cash-In-Transit) heists have increased dramatically this year, with a robbery recorded almost every single day. From Limpopo to Johannesburg to Cape Town, no Cash-In-Transit van appears to be safe. What’s worse is that the robbers have become more and more dangerous as their greed has grown.    The very nature of the heist is fast, violent and unpredictable. The Hawks have had their eye on the escalating situation for a while now, and are said to be working with all law enforcement agencies to nip the current surge in the bud. Hawks spokesperson, Ndivhuwo Mulamu, told News24:
"These are the people who don't care who they have to eliminate to get what they want."
Within one week in May, ten CIT heists were recorded across the country. We’ve seen this carried over into June, with the latest attacks spiralling way out of control. In 2018 alone, at least 140 CIT robberies have taken place in South Africa so far. Over a decade ago, in 2006, the country dealt with 460 recorded heists. That’s the highest amount on record. The lure of all that easy money in one convenient location is too much for criminals to resist. Some of them may get caught and may even be injured or die in the attempt – but it hasn’t dissuaded others from trying. The scourge undoubtedly has South Africans shook. While we’ve seen a lot of footage taken by bystanders – and this certainly aids in identifying and capturing the criminals – it’s important to remember that safety comes first. These people are incredibly dangerous and will not hesitate to shoot you or anybody else. Let’s take a look at what else you can do if you ever find yourself caught in the crossfire of a brutal CIT heist.

The Dangers Of A Cash-In-Transit Heist

Numerous security guards, as well as bystanders, have been killed or injured during these heists. The SA Banking Risk Council has given us these figures. As of June 2018, five guards, two civilians and eight perpetrators have been killed. 62 guards have been injured. There are a number of factors to take into account. The robbers use explosives and are definitely armed to the teeth. Bullets fly indiscriminately, and everybody in the immediate area is at risk of getting hit. The possibility of a well-oiled syndicate being behind these attacks is certainly a viable one. So, it stands to reason that any Cash-In-Transit van on the road is a potential target. In short – it’s better to avoid them when you can.  

Our Tips

  • Do not approach an armed security guard. They need to remain focused on the job;
  • Avoid parking your car close to armoured CIT vehicles. Just as with the guards – do not approach these vehicles either;
  • Never place your own safety at risk. It’s important to remain calm and remove yourself from the situation as fast as possible. Get yourself to a safe place and do not get involved;
  • During the recent Boksburg heist, street vendors at the scene took shelter from the gunfight behind other vehicles;
  • Immediately notify the authorities. The SAPS can be contacted at 10111 from anywhere;
  • When in a safe location, be observant. If possible, take note of what the robbers are wearing, any distinguishing features, the colour, make or licence plate number of the car they are using, etc;
  • If possible, write these down;
  • Be aware of the shock factor. Symptoms can creep up on you from out of nowhere. These include feelings of anxiety or panic, trouble with breathing or clammy skin. Report to the nearest hospital if you need to;
  • If you notice any suspicious behaviour on the roads – blow the whistle and report it to the SAPS. Early warnings may prevent a deadly situation.
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