Good Samaritan tied to a tree and hijacked by people he was trying to help
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Johannesburg - A man who went out of his way to help people he met at a filling station was tied to a tree in the veld by the same people who also robbed him of his car.
This is one of the many incidents of hijacking that happened in some parts of the North West over the past few days.
Captain Aafje Botma said the 55-year-old was in a white Mazda Drifter on Thursday when he stopped at a filling station in Boitekong outside Rustenburg.
Two men approached him and asked him to help them load firewood in the bushes in Bospoort. They said they would pay him.
“They all drove together in the victim's vehicle. However, the driver was ultimately attacked and robbed of his pistol with eight rounds, two cellphones and money.
“They tied the victim to a tree, took his white Mazda Drifter and fled the scene. The victim was assisted by security officers who took him to the police station.”
On the same day, Botma said, a 39-year-old man was driving from Klerksdorp where he had bought stock for his tuckshop. After he entered Kanana, two men got out of a black Volkswagen Polo that was parked next to the road.
“They allegedly pointed firearms at him. Upon stopping, one of the men opened the door, but the driver managed to escape by running away and the suspects drove off with his Nissan van with the stock.
“In another unrelated incident on Friday, a 38-year-old lady was driving from Oukasie Location to Brits to pick up her husband. She allegedly stopped the vehicle and was approach by three men who pointed firearms at her. One of the men pulled her out of the vehicle and they drove off with it.“
Botma said motorists must exercise caution when stopped by unknown people and to report such incidents to their nearest police station.
“If stopped by police of traffic officials and you feel unsafe or threatened, put on your hazards and slowly drive to the nearest police station.
“Never ever offer a lift to a hitchhiker and do not stop next to the road except for an emergency. People stopping to relieve themselves have also fallen victim to this crime.”
As part of curbing such incidents, Botma offered safety tips to motorists:
– A well-maintained car is less likely to break down and leave you vulnerable.
– Plan your route and let someone know what your route is and when to expect you at your destination.
– Always check the rear view mirror to see if you are being followed.
– Avoid driving with your windows open, keep the doors locked and put all valuables out of sight.
– Avoid distractions, such as using a cellphone, while driving.
– If you suspect you are being followed, drive to your nearest police station or to a busy public area.
– When approaching a red traffic light, slow down, so that you only reach it when it turns green, especially during the night.
– If possible, park in a central, well-lit place, preferably with guards on duty.
– When stopping behind another vehicle, leave half a vehicle length in front, so you can make an emergency escape if necessary.
– Avoid driving through unfamiliar areas.
– Avoid driving late at night or in the early hours of the morning when the roads are quiet.
– Drive in the centre lane away from pedestrians where possible.
– If possible, never drive alone.
– Never follow routine routes when driving; change them regularly.
– If possible, avoid driving in the dark.
– Hijackers may stage a minor accident, for example If your vehicle is bumped from behind and you do not feel comfortable with the individual involved in the situation, indicate that they must follow you. Drive to your nearest police station or any busy public area for help.