File photo: African News Agency (ANA).

RUSTENBURG - Police in North West have warned motorists to be careful following number of carjacking incidents reported in the province.

"Police urge motorists to be cautious when travelling or stopping alongside the roads or when ordered to stop by other motorists as that could be hijacking suspects. In some instances, particularly in Mahikeng cluster, unsuspecting motorists were stopped, robbed of their valuables and their vehicles hijacked by people who pretended to be traffic or police officials," said police spokesperson Captain Sam Tselanyane.

He said in August, a 29-year-old man was stopped by two men travelling in a Ford Bantam bakkie and pretending to be ask for directions.

"They suddenly pointed a firearm at the victim and demanded his car keys. The suspects then drove off with the victim’s silver Nissan Navara.

"In another unrelated incident in August, a 27-year-old motorist was travelling between Letlhabile and Brits, when she stopped to change a flat tyre. An unidentified vehicle parked next to her and she was offered help by two men. After changing the tyre, the men slapped the woman, took her personal belongs, including a cellphone, and drove off in her Volkswagen Polo."

In another incident, a 46-year-old man was pointed with a firearm and his Volkswagen Amarok hijacked on the Derby-Rustenburg road on September 5.

"It is alleged that the man stopped his vehicle alongside the road to relieve himself when two suspects who pretended to be asking for directions approached him. The suspects assaulted the victim, forced him into the back of his vehicle and drove off with him. The victim was allegedly dropped near Randfontein by the suspects who fled in his vehicle."

He said police had also noted with concern that some motorists, especially in the Brits cluster, were defeating or obstructing the ends of justice by pointing out wrong places instead of the actual crime scenes.

He requested motorists to be vigilant and to report suspicious persons or vehicles to the nearest police stations, and as precautionary measure, never to pick up or offer a lift to hitchhikers or strangers, and to avoid stopping next to the road, except for an emergency.

"If possible, avoid driving in the dark. Hijackers may stage a minor accident, for e.g. If your vehicle is bumped from behind and you do not feel comfortable with the individual involved in the situation, indicate that he or she must follow you and drive to the nearest police station or any busy public area for help," he said.

African News Agency (ANA)