Thugs attack riders in forest for pricey bikes

2014-08-26 00:00

BICYCLES worth almost R40 000 have been stolen from riders training in the plantation near Otto’s Bluff Road on successive weekends.

In the latest incident, mountain-biking coach David Low and riders Travis Walker and ­Matthew Wilkinson were mugged in the forest during a training session on Sunday.

They were attacked by bike-jackers armed with a panga and hammer.

“Two men were sitting on the side of the road as if they were waiting for a taxi. When we were on the dirt road, they just came to us. One was armed with a hammer. He managed to grab my bicycle and threatened me with a hammer,” said Wilkinson.

The men took his bike, worth R20 000. Wilkinson was training for a hill-to-hill competition.

Low told The Witness that as they were riding the men managed to divide them. “I and Walker managed to escape them. Walker punched the man armed with panga as he was trying to grab his bike.

“That was a scary moment for us as we did not know what to do, but we shouted that Wilkinson must hand them the bike. They took it and walked into the bush,” said Low.

He added that they used to train in the plantation because it’s quiet and they enjoyed the view. However, they would not return until security measures were improved.

Meanwhile, a 46-year-old man and his 16-year-old daughter found themselves surrounded by armed thugs while they were cycling in the plantation on Sunday last week.

The father, who did not want to be named, told The Witness that it was at about 4 pm when they were mugged by the group of three men.

“As we got closer they jumped out and surrounded us within a few seconds; we did not have a chance to react. One man had a knife, one had a very large, thick pole. The one with the knife came to me and was threatening to stab me while the third guy went to my daughter,” said the man.

The men fled with bicycles collectively worth R19 000. Police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane said that officers are investigating.

• mlondi.radebe@witness.co.za

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