Violent gang caught

2013-11-26 00:00

A HIJACKING and armed robbery syndicate allegedly stole five cars and kidnapped and gang-raped a woman before being caught by police.

The crime spree played out throughout the suburbs of Durban last week.

The police had followed an intricate trail leading to the arrest of five suspects in various places in the city over the past couple of days.

The young woman yesterday said she was still too traumatised to speak about her ordeal.

Her horror experience started last Sunday, when she was hijacked in Parlock by five men and taken to Ozwathini. En route, one of the men raped her and when they arrived at Ozwathini two more raped her.

The men dumped her in Harburg, from where they returned to Verulam and withdrew R4 000 from her bank account. Her hijacked Toyota Corolla was abandoned when it ran out of petrol.

On Friday, members of the Phoenix Cluster Crime Intelligence and Umhlali K9 arrested five suspects aged between 24 and 26 from Ndwedwe, Isipingo and Durban Central.

During the robbery spree two VW Polos were taken in Mayville; an Opel Corsa in Umbilo, a Kia stolen from Pinetown and an Audi A4 stolen in Verulam.

Police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane said informants came forward with information about several cases of hijacking, linking them to the same group of men.

“Members from the Phoenix Cluster Crime Intelligence sourced out information and arrested three suspects in Ndwe­dwe. They proceeded to Cato Manor where they recovered a 9 mm pistol with five live rounds. One more suspect was arrested in Durban Central and the last one at the Reunion railway station,” said Zwane.

The Opel Corsa that is believed to have been used in the commission of the crimes was traced to Empangeni.

Zwane said the link between all these cases reported by the victims was the Corsa bakkie was used in the hijackings.

All the arrested suspects were charged with armed robbery, hijacking, and unlawful possession of an unlicensed firearm, abduction and rape.

Umbilo Community Policing Forum chairperson Ben Madokwe said people need to be more vigilant and aware of their surroundings.

“We urge people to be vigilant and to be aware of strange people lurking around. One major concern in the area is that we find couples spending time in the park and they fall victim to these hijackers. They become easy targets”, he said.

Madokwe added people should try not to sit in their cars alone, where they are most vulnerable and become easier targets.

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