Criminals have doubled down and are increasingly hijacking trucks and robbing drivers in Brits and surrounding areas, North West police said on Sunday.
Several cases were reported between February and April this year as criminals left truck drivers stranded and robbed of their cellphones and wallets.
“Police management in Brits would like to warn truck drivers about escalating truck hijackings occurring in the policing precincts of Brits, Mmakau and Mothotlung.
“Truck drivers are urged to be vigilant at all times, especially when they are to meet with unknown clients,” spokesperson Colonel Adele Myburgh said in a statement on Sunday.
In one of the incidents at Mothotlung two weeks ago, a 59-year-old truck driver sent by his employer to collect goods in Brits ended up being hijacked by the persons he was sent to.
“Upon arrival at the said location, he called the client who sent someone to accompany him to the collection site. The truck driver and the man proceeded to Mothotlung via Damonsville. It is alleged that the pair met with another man, who was supposed to direct and accompany them to the collection site,” said Myburgh.
The pair got into the truck and the man allegedly pointed the truck driver with a firearm, instructing him to start driving. The third man suddenly appeared and the trucker proceeded to drive.
He was told to stop at Mothotlung cemetery where he was forced out of the truck at gunpoint. They tied up his hands and legs, robbed him of his cellphone and an undisclosed amount of cash before driving off with the truck.
Another driver was also hijacked in the same manner when he went to pick up a shipping container in Brits last week.
Him and his co-driver were also robbed of their personal belongings before the suspects drove off in the truck.
Myburgh urged truckers to avoid meeting in secluded areas and rather use frequented public places such as fuel stations.