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WATCH: Nimble Eastern Cape thieves loot moving pineapple truck

22 May, 01:29 PM

Inga Mbambisa, News24

A heavy-laden pineapple truck that was snaking its way up a stop-and-go section of the R72 just outside Hamburg in the Eastern Cape on Monday had its load lightened by a trio of thieves.

Using a white sack and two jackets as make-shift bags, the men can be seen throwing their loot off the slow-moving vehicle.

According to the eyewitness who shot the video, the men were likely emboldened by the relatively light road traffic at the time.

"They decided to jump off as the truck slowed down because of the steep hill, the one guy fell onto the road and we had to swerve to avoid hitting him," he told News24, asking to remain anonymous.

The remaining two thieves seemed to be more adept at jumping off the moving vehicle than their accomplice, who is assumed by the motorist who captured the footage to have suffered no more than a few bruises from his fall.

Farmers take a knock

Upon overtaking the truck, the witness signalled to its driver, who seemed to be aware of what was going on at the back of his vehicle.

According to the witness, the driver merely offered a shrug in resignation before continuing up the hill, on his way to deliver the pineapples to the Summerpride factory in East London.

"It is impossible to accurately quantify the losses to theft between the farms and the factory, but the assumption is that they run into thousands of rand per year," Summerpride CEO Anthony Alberts told News24.

Sadly, it is the farmers who take the knock as the trucks are only weighed on arrival at the factory.

"The problem is not just confined to the pineapple trucks because cargo is stolen from all sorts of trucks passing through the stop-and-go road works along the R72," Alberts told News24.

"The steep gradient slows the trucks down."

Alberts confirmed the local trucking industry has had positive interactions with the police in the past that have resulted in increased patrols in the area.

In this instance, however, the theft was not reported to the police.

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