Car hijackings in South Africa dropped by 11.9 percent in 2011/12, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said on Thursday
Both motor vehicle theft and carjacking were more organised in nature and frequently linked to the export of stolen or hijacked vehicles across the country's borders, he said.
There has, though, been a rise in the theft of goods out of or from motor vehicles, with criminals now using devices to jam electronic locking systems.
"Our research confirms that the use of remote control devices to prevent the automatic locking of doors - which has now become the second most-frequently used [method] employed to commit theft out of or from motor vehicles - may have led to this increase," he said, tabling the annual crime statistics in Cape Town.
The rise was during the period April 1, 2011, to March 31 this year.
Gauteng police commissioner Lt-Gen Mzwandile Petros, in his capacity as head of the SA Police Service's crime statistics research task team, said there were more people reporting they had returned to their parked car to find it unlocked, and what they had left inside stolen.
The police were working closely with "other partners" to reduce this problem, but it needed a "scientific solution".
The phenomenon was prevalent in shopping complex parking areas, he said.
According to the report, there were 130 475 reported cases of theft out of or from motor vehicles during 2011/12. This represents an almost six percent increase over the previous year's total of 123 091 cases.
Hardest hit were Gauteng motorists (39 228 cases), closely followed by their Western Cape counterparts (38 375 cases). The two provinces account for almost 60 percent of total theft from vehicle cases in the country.