By Augustine Ehikioya
To avoid being attacked and robbed by some armed men, the South African Police Service (SAPS) have warned motorists to watch out for spikes on the highways, especially at nights.
The SAPS has confirmed that some citizens have been robbed through that trick.
According to a press statement by Lieutenant Colonel Mavela Masondo of SAPS, Office of the Provincial Commissioner Gauteng, which was obtained on Sunday by Security Watch Africa (SWA), the Police have launched a manhunt for the suspects.
The statement said “Police warn motorists to be extra careful and vigilant after three armed men attacked the family whose car had stopped after they got a puncture at about 21h00 on Friday, 17 September 2021. It is reported that victims were driving on the R80 highway in Akasia when they hit what they suspected to be spikes placed on the road and the tyre went flat.
“It is alleged that as the driver was changing a wheel with the wife standing on the side, they were attacked by three armed men who fired shots at them. The husband shot back and one suspect was hit on the upper body while the other two fled on foot.
“Members of Flying Squad who were part of Operation O KAE MOLAO conducting in Akasia and Garankuwa responded promptly and a replica firearm was recovered at the scene, next to the shot suspect who was later certified dead by paramedics.
“Police have launched a manhunt for the suspects who escaped from the scene and are warning motorists driving on R80 highway to be cautious, especially when driving at night.
“The Police have stabilised the incidents of car spiking in Gauteng roads that were on the increase, especially on the N4 highway and R566.”
It also said “Crime pattern analysis showed that as soon as identified hotspots are mitigated with increased visibility of law enforcement and security partners then criminals either change their modus operandi or move to another location.
“If motorists suspect that their tyre punctures are as a result of having driven over spikes, they must immediately alert the Police by calling the SAPS emergency number 10111, scanning their immediate environment and by staying vigilant while changing their tyre but if they feel unsafe then they must try to drive to the nearest filling station or Police Station.”
The statement also disclosed that fourteen suspects who were arrested in October 2020 “for terrorising and robbing the community at R80, Theo Martinspoort R89 and the surroundings remain in custody and are expected to start with trial between September and December 2021.”