Cape Town – Pretoria’s blessers be warned: hijackers view you as soft targets.
"Following the arrest of two suspected would-be hijackers [Saturday] night, the police are warning the so-called blessers who frequent student residences in Sunnyside that if the recent reports are anything to go by, hijackers increasingly perceive them (blessers) and their lovers as soft targets," reads a statement from police spokesperson Captain Daniel Mavimbela.
The two suspects – aged 26 and 30 – were caught following an alleged attempt to hijack a Mercedes Benz at Troye Street, Sunnyside.
"It is believed that the 44-year-old driver of the Mercedes Benz, who had picked up his 24-year-old girlfriend, put up a fight to ward off an attack from the would-be hijackers before, with assistance from bystanders, enabling the police to catch the suspects after the latter was allegedly spotted inside one of the local taverns," said Mavinbela.
The suspects are expected in the Pretoria Magistrate’s court on Monday on charges of attempted hijacking.
Mavinbela said while the police continue to arrest “recycled alleged offenders” and ex-convicts for serious and violent crimes like robbery, burglaries and hijackings, the police are of the view that creating awareness by sharing crime tips with the general public will help to create a safer environment.
The current trend suggests that hijackers have set their sights on the so-called blessers who drive luxury cars like Mercedes, BMW, VW Amaroks and Toyota Fortuners. The victims, who are mostly in their forties to sixties, are accosted while sitting inside their cars in the company of student girlfriends who are between the ages of 20 and 25.
"We identified a number of hotspots and buildings that are saturated with younger women and students. On a daily basis patrol crews are urged to discourage motorists from sitting inside their vehicles after parking, but some of our pleas fall on deaf ears," said Sunnyside police commander Brigadier Ramakamakama Kekana.
Kekana also referred to an alleged hijacking that occurred on Thursday evening, where a BMW worth about R650 000 was recovered in Silverton shortly after it was taken from the owner at gunpoint next to Edge Campus, a student residence based at the corner of Jorissen and Verdoorn Street, Sunnyside.
The 44-year-old owner of the vehicle was seated inside the car in the company of his 21-year-old girlfriend.
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