Hijackers posing as police were 'gentle, totally professional' – victim

2017-02-28 21:58
SA Police. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

SA Police. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Durban – A KwaZulu-Natal motorist has described how he was "professionally" handled by two hijackers posing as police officers in the Empangeni area.

Paul Engelbrecht, his three sons of schoolgoing age and their friend were travelling from Empangeni to Eshowe on the R66 after attending a car contest in Richards Bay on Saturday when they were stopped by a vehicle with blue lights.

"They approached us exactly like a police officer would. They had their guns drawn and were wearing police reflector vests. They told us the vehicle had been reported stolen."

Engelbrecht said that although the men told them they would be taken to a police station to verify the details of the vehicle, a Toyota Hilux Legend 45, it never seemed like that was their intention.

"It was taking too long to get to the station. We realised we were in shit when they turned onto a gravel road."

Here Engelbrecht, his sons and their friend were searched. Engelbrecht and the youngsters were put in the back of the van, which was then covered. His 10-year-old son sat in front with the two hijackers.

'They were totally professional'

He said the men continually checked on his son.

"They kept asking him if he was okay and making sure he was fine."

Engelbrecht said they were then taken to a total of five different locations where different people attempted to remove his vehicle's trackers.

"We could hear people with spanners and tools working."

Engelbrecht said the men eventually left them on a road and pointed them in the direction of a police station.

"They were totally professional. They gave me one of the trackers and our cellphones with the sim cards removed. They said the police station was 5km away. When I told the one man that my son would be cold, they gave him his jacket.

Vehicle recovered

Engelbrecht said the situation could have been much worse.

"It was an ordeal but they were gentle and totally professional. It made it a bit easier for us. Guys could have been hitting you and stuff. They just kept saying keep your head down and be quiet."

Engelbrecht added that his vehicle was eventually recovered in Mtubatuba because the men failed to find a second tracker.

"The vehicle is currently with insurance."

Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbhele confirmed the incident saying police were investigating a case of hijacking. No arrests have been made.

Engelbrecht went on to thank the residents of Empangeni for their support and help.

"They have rallied behind us and we sincerely appreciate it."

Read more on:    durban  |  crime

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