Johannesburg - Yet another gang has unleashed a reign of terror in Sandton, targeting motorists leaving shopping centres and robbing them at gunpoint.
This time it’s a gang termed the Hyundai H-1 gang, whose modus operandi is to follow mostly cars leaving Nelson Mandela Square and Sandton City, pouncing on them once they stop at filling stations or other shopping centres.
Sandton police said several cases of armed robbery and theft out of a vehicle had been reported this month that implicated the gang.
This week, two sets of footage showing the Hyundai H-1 gang brazenly robbing motorists of their valuables at filling stations and shopping centres caused outrage on social media.
The daring gunmen swoop on their prey after stalking them at filling stations, in front of petrol attendants and other customers.
In footage that was widely circulated, the gang’s silver-grey H-1 is seen blocking a Porsche from behind. Two of the robbers, one of them pointing a firearm at the female driver, opens the doors and one of them takes her handbag. They are both wearing caps and bandannas to hide their faces.
The other one, still pointing a firearm at the woman, is seen taking what looks like jewellery from her. They then get into the Hyundai H-1 getaway car and speed off.
Sandton police spokesperson Captain Granville Meyer said the H-1 had been involved in several incidents this month, including one at the Hilton hotel.
“There have been four thefts out of motor vehicle incidents in Sunninghill and an armed robbery at the Hilton hotel in Sandton that have been reported,” Meyer said.
Gauteng provincial spokesperson Colonel Lungelo Dlamini would only say police were aware of the videos circulating on social media.
He confirmed that three police officers were arrested in September for their alleged involvement with a gang that was robbing people at filling stations.
Social media users were outraged, saying police had failed to curb the crimes.
Last year, footage of a gang in a Volkswagen Golf 6 robbing motorists at petrol stations, using the same modus operandi as the H-1 gang surfaced.
In 2016, gangs in an Audi and a Mercedes-Benz terrorised motorists using the same tactic.
Facebook user Ngovhela Sibasa wrote: “This is totally unacceptable; they must be found and locked away.”
Freeman Nkompilo said: “Seeing that most of these robberies happen at service stations/garages, can’t they (police) come up with a system of alerting each other either at provincial level or national?”
In other footage, the H-1 is seen parking at a small shopping complex that is situated close to a garage. An occupant gets out and attempts to open the door of a vehicle. He then casually walks away as though going into the stores.
When he returns, he opens the boot of the 4x4 and takes something from inside. He then jumps into the H-1 before the vehicle drives off.
Joburg metro police department Superintendent Edna Mamonyane said: “It seems like they have a (remote) jammer. We warn motorists not to just lock the car (with the remote) and walk away. They must check to ensure that the car has been locked (with the key).”