Carjackings are often vicious, deadly crimes that certainly deserve no celebration. The term itself was first used in 1991 in The Detroit News, reporting on the death of 22-year-old Ruth Wahl, who was murdered on the streets of the Motor City for refusing to give up her Suzuki.
Detroit has more than its fair share of carjackings, but the world’s capital for the crime is South Africa, where the rate of carjackings is about 18 times that of the US. To address the problem, the South African police have special units to deal with the crime. Confrontations often end in shootouts.
Several devices have been invented to allow motorists to defend their cars, the most notorious of which was the Blaster. Introduced in 1998, the Blaster was a petroleum gas flamethrower affixed to the car, which would ignite anyone who came within a few feet of your vehicle. The inventor, Charl Fourie, claimed that it probably wouldn’t kill someone, but probably would permanently blind them. Somehow perfectly legal, the Blaster ceased production a few years later, as its price limited sales. There are, however, plenty of these devices still in circulation, a fact which carjackers in Johannesburg are likely to learn the hard way.