Carjackers on the prowl

2019-02-28 06:00

Two carjacking incidents in the Lwandle policing precinct prompted police to issue a warning to unsuspecting motorists to be alert and vigilant.

They warned the community that criminals are now targeting people who park their vehicles near taverns.

One of the incidents occurred in Ralarala Street, Lwandle at 22:10 on Friday 15 February, while the other reportedly took place in Xaki Street, Asanda Village about 11:30 the same day.

According to police spokesperson Sergeant Mthokozisi Gama, the one complainant informed police he was sitting in his silver-grey Mazda 3 with his friend and girlfriend in Ralarala Street when they were approached by two unknown men.

Brandishing a firearm, one of the men apparently knocked on the driver’s window and pointed the gun at him, demanding that the occupants exit the vehicle. “After the occupants obeyed, the two suspects got into the vehicle and drove off in it,” Gama said.

The police are investigating the carjacking of a Mazda 3 (CEY 20890), which has a sunroof, and no arrests have been made.

In another incident, a driver and two passengers were sitting in their delivery truck, which was parked in Xaki Street, when three unknown men approached them.

“They allegedly pointed firearms at the vehicle’s occupants and demanded they hand over its keys,” Gama explained, adding that the occupants exited the vehicle and fled on foot, chased away by two of the suspects.

“The three suspects then apparently drove away in the Hyundai H1 bread delivery truck, registration number CEY 62958, with an unknown quantity of bread loaves in it,” Gama said.

The truck was later recovered in Siyanyanzela, but the loaves had been taken. A case of carjacking is under investigation.

Anyone with information about the two incidents are urged to call Lwandle police on 021 845 2060 or 082 522 1208. A reward will be offered to any person who shares information that leads to the arrest of the suspects.

Given the spate of carjacking incidents within the precinct, Gama shared the following safety tips:

. If you are about to arrive or leave home, request a person to open the gate or garage door for you.

. Drivers should consider not travelling at night, especially when under the influence of alcohol.

. Always be vigilant about your surroundings, and check for suspicious-looking people and motor vehicles. Pay attention in parking areas.

. Refrain from parking and sitting in a vehicle, especially at night.

. Be extra careful when approaching traffic lights and stop streets.

. When experiencing a breakdown, call the police for assistance.

. Never give unknown people lifts at night.

. Install a tracking device in your motor vehicle to assist in tracing it if it is stolen.

. Always have police numbers on hand in case of emergency. Lwandle police can be contacted on 021 845 2060 or 10111, or 08600 10111.

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