Police have warned motorists in the Middelburg, Witbank, Belfast and Gauteng areas to be extra vigilant due to an increase in tyre spike incidents.
Criminals are mostly targeting motorists over the weekend starting from Friday evening to Sunday between the hours of 6pm – 4am. They move from area to area looking for quiet roads to set up road spikes and when drivers slow, they are robbed of money, cellphones and belongings.
Major General Thulani Phahla from Mpumalanga said, police recorded 24 tyre spike incidents between 01 April and 18 May 2021.
ALSO READ: Why are pangolins hunted?
Affected areas include:
- Middelburg on the N4 National Road, Bethal, Kendall, Phola/Ogies on the N12 near Arbor off ramp
- Delmas still on the N12 National Road
- Bronkorstspruit towards Witbank on the N4
- Witbank on the Dellville Street- CBD, Verena Road, R555 Old Ogies Road
- Calcutta area, R40 around Marite area
- Belfast on the N4 National Road next to Wonderfonein and Acornhoek at Matsikitsane area
- The N4 Mpumalanga to Pretoria between Solomon Mahlangu and Watermeyer Offramp
- The N4 Pretoria to Mpumalanga between Bronkhorstspruit and Balmoral offramp
- The N1 Polokwane N4 Mpumalanga interchange in Pretoria
- The N4 to Rustenburg between R80 Mabopane Freeway and Brits plaza tollgate
- Golden Highway
- R21 Freeway from OR Tambo International Airport to Pretoria
According to Phahla, criminals place objects on the road such as tyre spikes, slabs, bricks, as well as large rocks covered in a plastic to trap motorists. When vehicles stop due to punctured tyres or damage, the suspects jump out of the bushes and rob them of all their valuables.
It has also been established that in most of these cases, the suspects are normally armed with firearms.
“I strongly appeal that motorists should be vigilant when on the road, particularly when driving in the evening or early in the morning as that is when they (motorists) are targeted,” said Phahla.
Motorists are urged to be vigilant and report any suspicious movements on our freeways to our Radio control room at 011 689 3712 or 011 689 3999 or alternatively they can contact the police at 0800 10111.