Durban - Police in Mpumalanga have issued a warning to drivers, especially truck drivers, following a spike in theft from and out of motor vehicles.
SAPS spokesperson, Brigadier Selvy Mohlala said drivers should be extra vigilant when stopping along the R548 Road, R42 Road and N12 Road near Delmas as well as on the N4 Road and Bethal Road near Middelburg where these incidents are prevalent.
Mohlala said in recent weeks, a number of truck drivers were targeted after they stopped alongside the road.
“They indicated that they had stopped to either relieve themselves or stretch their feet when they were confronted by a group of suspects emerging from the bushes. The men were armed. There were also incidents where hijackers would inform the truck drivers that there was something wrong with the trailers and as they stop the suspects would pounce on them. At times the suspects would cut fuel pipes of the trucks so that the diesel is drained. In those incidents, batteries as well as cellphones would be taken from their victims,” Mohlala said.
Police have requested drivers stop in safer places.
In a separate incident, police have arrested three men Fortune Nzima, 32, Tebogo Moshia, 28 and Bonny Motsepe, 28 in connection with a truck hijacking that took place on March 18 in Middelburg.
“This is just one of many efforts by police to fight the scourge. However, the best would be to prevent such incidents from recurring if possible,” Mohlala said.
Mpumalanga SAPS Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant-General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela, said they would leave no stone unturned in addressing this challenge.
“We would like to encourage members of the public who have got information, video footage or details on the whereabouts of these perpetrators that are directly hurting the country’s economy by targeting trucks which transport goods via our roads. People should not be dismayed as we are turning the situation around in the affected areas,” Manamela said.
Police are urging anyone with information that may assist in arresting suspects in these crimes to call 013-249 1600/1/2/4 or call the Crime Stop number at 08600 10111.
Alternatively members of the public can send information Via MYSAPSAPP. All received information will be treated as confidential and callers may opt to remain anonymous.