'I dodged log trap' - new Athlone ambush victim
The gang, who are said to trap motorists into stopping by placing logs on the road, then pounce on unsuspecting drivers. Last week two men said they been robbed of their wallets, identity documents and cash, beaten and almost killed by teenagers on the N2 outbound off-ramp to Jan Smuts Drive.
Now Athlone resident Wahieda van der Schyff, 35, says she was targeted on Monday night, on the Jan Smuts Drive off-ramp from the N2 incoming. Her Ford Figo hit the log and “lifted off the ground” and she thought the car was going to flip.
“I saw the thing too late," she said. "It was just after 7pm and almost dark. Two cars in front of me suddenly swerved out into the next lane without warning. Then I saw the log, but there were cars next to me so I couldn't swerve - I just had to brace for impact."
Her car was badly damaged, but she realised it could be a trap.
“I was too afraid to stop so I just kept going," she said. "I had no gears and the brakes were also weird. I just drove the two kilometres home and when I pulled up in front of my house, my car just died and now it has been written off.”
She went to Athlone Police Station to open a case and her car was collected by her insurance company.
“One of the agents called to tell me there is extensive damage to the motor and the gearbox," she said, "and that he doesn't know how I got home. I think I was very lucky. Had I stopped there, who knows what would have happened.”
The first victim, who asked to remain anonymous, said his Volkswagen Golf hit a huge log lying in the road last Tuesday.
“I was on my way home from work, just after 1am," he said. "My car just hit the thing and these four boys, no older than 13 or 14, came running out with guns and knives. They dragged me out of the car and beat me up, choking me; I thought I was a dead man.”
He said what saved his life was a second car, a Ford Bantam bakkie, coming up the ramp.
“These guys went after him, but they just managed to grab stuff off his dash and smash his window. He stopped, I jumped in and he managed to get past my car. He saved my life.”
Police did not reply to queries about either case.