Johannesburg – Some hijackers take advantage of truck drivers who stop to procure prostitutes on highways in Gauteng, police said.
“Drivers… tend to stop on the N3 where prostitutes are working [and] standing next to the road. When [the drivers] stop to find out more, the suspects appear and take possession of the trucks,” according to a police presentation on truck hijacking cases in Gauteng from April 2014 to July 2015.
The 2014/15 crime statistics released on Tuesday showed a 29,1% increase in truck hijackings. The majority happened in Gauteng with 804 more cases than in 2013/14.
The presentation said other hijackers used a vehicle fitted with a blue light to pull over the trucks.
“The most common [modus operandi] was marked or unmarked Saps/Metro [police] vehicles fitted with blue lights and sirens… [who] drive behind the truck indicating the driver must stop.”
A person dressed as an officer would approach the driver requesting a driver’s licence and ask about the load on the truck.
Two or three suspects would take possession of the truck, tie up the driver and leave him behind the seat, or place him in another vehicle and drive away.
The driver would later be dropped off somewhere else.
Road blocks, disguises
Some hijackers often dress as road workers; set up roadblocks and pounce on the trucks once they stopped.
These hijackers often made off with cellphones, laptops, printers, alcohol, soft drinks, electrical appliances, clothing and food.
“Several unusual items were also robbed such as: train wheels, cotton and animal nutritional products and grain.”
Some problems facing the police faced included no available witnesses as the incidents occurred in the late afternoons or at night. Witnesses or complainants could also not identify the suspects.
Another was allegations of police or metro police involvement as witnesses or complainants confirmed suspects were wearing uniforms.
In almost every reported hijacking incident, the truck’s tracking signal was not available, because suspects used jammers when they entered the vehicles.
The police said truck drivers were involved in several cases, while police and metro police officers were involved in cases in Bedfordview, Eldorado Park, Nigel and Olifantsfontein.