Criminals target traffic jam commuters

Opportunistic thugs have been targeting commuters stuck in the traffic jams caused by the Go! Durban road works, Pinetown SAPS warns.

PINETOWN commuters have become soft targets for criminals since the start of the Go Durban! Integrated Rapid Public Transport Network road works.

According to Lt Col Leon Matthysen, the acting station commander for the Pinetown SAPS, the traffic congestion caused by the road works have increased street robberies in recent weeks.

“The project, which is expected to last for at least three months, has raised concern with regards to the increased crime rate,” he said.

Some of the high-risk roads include Stapleton Road, Old Main Road, Shepstone Road, Kings Road, Joshia Gumede Road and Glenugie Road.

“We urge residents to exercise increased vigilance while travelling on these roads. Many motorists have been negligent, by driving with their windows open, talking on their cell phones and not paying attention to their surroundings.

“We urge motorists to keep their windows closed at all times. The criminals manage to stick their hands into your vehicle even if the window is only open a little bit,” said Matthysen.

The robbers are believed to operate in groups of two or three perpetrators, primarily targeting distracted commuters and elderly residents. Police have also reported that the robbers are often armed with a screwdriver or knife, which they use to intimidate their victims.

Matthysen also said that some of the prime modus operandi’s of the robbers include snatch and grabs as well as snatching the keys from your vehicle or pointing at your vehicle’s tyres and claiming that your tyre is flat, forcing you to get out of your vehicle.

“We also urge people to ignore the individuals who hand out pamphlets as well as beggars. It is believed that they work with the thugs, by distracting you, in order to secure their safety. Incidents have been reported on Crompton Street,” said Matthysen.

Matthysen confirmed that the Pinetown SAPS will be increasing their visibility and patrols, and will also be utilising all cameras to discourage criminal activity.

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  1. I can safely say I have not seen ONE policeman patrolling this area. I work in Crompton street and drive along these roads frequently.

  2. SAPS know there has been a problem with these roads even before the road works began. the should have policing at these roads at all times No excuses

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