GQEBERHA – Despite the increase in truck hijackings in the Eastern Cape, police have stepped up their efforts in clamping down on these criminals.
In the past week, in unrelated incidents, swift reaction by police resulted in the speedy recovery of goods and the hijacked truck with arrests in some cases.
On Tuesday, 22 November 2022 at about 13:15, the NMB District Hijacking Task team received information about a possible truck hijacking and immediately mobilised a team. The 39-year-old complainant alleged that at about 09:35, he was on his way to Struandale to deliver tyres when he was pointed with a firearm by one of two males as he slowed down on a speed hump in Ambrose Road in Sydenham. One suspect got into the vehicle and drove off with the truck. The driver and his passenger were dropped off and reported the matter to police.
On the same day, the NMB District Hijacking Task team with the assistance of the NMB District Crime Combatting Unit succeeded in tracking the stock to a workshop yard at the corners of Tyinara and Ngedle Streets in Motherwell. A total of 283 tyres with an estimated value of R600 000-00 were recovered. At about 17:00, SAPS Kwazakele Vispol Task Team detained 5 suspicious males driving a white VW Polo in New Brighton. A jamming device, clothing and 4 cellphones were confiscated. The suspects were charged for possession of suspected stolen property. They could not be linked to the truck hijacking at this stage.
Also on Wednesday, 23 November 2022 at about 21:30, the complaint alleged that he was driving a truck in Burman Road when he was blocked off by a vehicle. Four males armed with firearms pointed him with firearms and got into the vehicle. He was dropped off in NU9 in Motherwell where he sought help and while still reporting the matter at the police station, police recovered the vehicle which was abandoned in Kruisriver Road in Kariega. Most of the goods (groceries) valued at over R2 million were recovered. No suspects arrested.
In another unrelated incident, a total 8 suspects aged between 35 and 48 years were arrested on 21 and 24 November 2022 in East London following an intelligence led operation between East London Crime Prevention members, Flying Squad and the K9 unit where it was alleged that a truck had been hijacked on the R72 going towards East London.
A horse and trailer truck with groceries valued at R1, 3 million and a Toyota Corolla were recovered at Wells Street in Woodbrook. The suspects from Gqeberha are detained on a charge of vehicle hijacking and will appear in the East London magistrate court on Monday, 28 November 2022.
Vehicle hijackings are a concern and every effort will be made to crack these syndicates. We appeal to the communities to report any suspicious activity in their areas like the unloading of quantities of merchandise etc.
Source: South African Police Service