Carjack City

Channel 4: Unreported World

South Africa: where at least thirsty vehicles are carjacked every day. Reporter Marcel Theroux and Director James Brabazon join an armed response team as they chase gunmen and recover stolen cars. 

The country’s cars are routinely fitted with satellite trackers, so that if they are carjacked by thieves an armed response unit can track them.  

The Unreported World team is in the country’s capital, Pretoria, a city where this type of crime is acute. They are with Andries Hlongwane - who works for a private security firm– following him as he chases the gunmen and recovers stolen cars.  It’s dangerous work for a private security industry that now accounts for seven per cent of all jobs in South Africa.


Theroux and Brabazon begin the film in hot pursuit of a carjacked vehicle. Andries and his partner find it abandoned, but they keep their guns drawn - there’s a good chance the carjackers are still watching to see if anyone has followed the car’s satellite tracker.   


The team waits for police officers to arrive to help out, but suddenly across the road they hear the cries of a woman being robbed. Andries races to her aid, his gun drawn, and chases of the robbers.


A few minutes later a passing driver warns the team he’s just driven through a gang of armed carjackers at a junction less than 100 yards away.  The police arrive and almost immediately there’s a fusillade of shots.  Just five minutes from the South African parliament, the carjackers have no compunction about firing automatic weapons to make good their escape.  

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Carjack City, Channel 4: Unreported World | Quicksilver Media