‘Wild dogs’ target drivers

2016-07-19 06:00
Motorists that drive on Prince George drive are having a tough time because of a group of men that are targeting them when they stop at the robbots on Prince George and Military Road. PHOTO: TIYESE JERANJI

Motorists that drive on Prince George drive are having a tough time because of a group of men that are targeting them when they stop at the robbots on Prince George and Military Road. PHOTO: TIYESE JERANJI

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Motorists on Prince George Drive (M5) are being targeted by opportunistic criminals, especially at the intersection of Military Road.

The section of road is well-known as a high- accident area and a hot spot for smash-and-grab incidents, but now there is a group of men who are robbing motorists by taking things out of their cars when they stop at the traffic lights.

The vehicles targeted are mostly delivery vans and trucks, with the perpetrators stealing goods from the vehicles.

A resident who stays close to the area, who did not want to be identified, says motorists are in danger. “These guys operate like wild dogs. At times you see two of them but they usually work in a group so that they act quickly. Police drive past all the time but when they see that the police are there they don’t come. As soon as the police leave they are back again. I wonder why police can’t catch them. Police have to pull up their socks and hunt them down.”

Daniel Swanepoel, a motorist who uses Prince George Drive often, has witnessed a number of these incidents.

“For years I have been driving here and it seems the issue is getting out of hand. At one time they opened a bakkie’s (canopy) at the robots. They took boxes out of the car. It seemed he was going to stock a shop and the guys (took the) boxes. When other drivers began to hoot they ran away,” he says.

Besides targeting delivery vans, the suspects also grab any valuables in easy reach. Shantel Davids says: “I was travelling with my doors unlocked as I was making a quick turn to the shopping centre. A group of guys all came to my doors and opened them. They managed to take my bag out and the other pulled a necklace off my neck. I froze. I didn’t know what to do. From that day on I have learnt to lock my car as soon as I leave home and to keep bags hidden away.”

The intersection acts as a boundary too, and is under the jurisdiction of, both Muizenberg and Steenberg police.

Steenberg police spokesperson Warrant Officer John Bartlett confirms robberies take place randomly on this section. “Some of the motorists report the incidents while others don’t. We are urging motorists to be alert and constantly aware. Truck drivers are requested to make sure the back doors of their trucks are locked with a padlock. Motorists must contact the police on their cellphones if they observe any suspicious characters. Motorists must be alert at all times. Keep your vehicle in a good mechanical condition and always ensure that there is sufficient fuel in the tank. When forced to stop at intersections keep some distance between you and the vehicle in front of you so that you are able to turn,” says Bartlett

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