Life on the road in Hartbeespoortdam, North West, can resume as normal after a concerted effort by different police units culminated in the arrest of key members of a hijacking syndicate.
Hartbeespoortdam police take down hijacking syndicate
Credit can be handed to detectives of the Hartbeespoortdam division, members of the Visible Policing unit and the Brits Trio Task Team, for the well-executed arrests of seven serial hijackers.
According to North West police spokesperson Colonel Adèle Myburgh, the team was assembled after numerous hijacking cases with the same modus operandi were reported in the town.
In almost all the hijackings, a male motorist was lured to a stop by a female posing as a hitchhiker, a prostitute or a damsel in distress.
“Upon stopping, male suspects would suddenly emerge from the bushes, then overpower victims and hijack their vehicles,” Col. Myburgh revealed.
Alleged hijackers revealed: These are the charges they face
In one case, dating back to January 2020, a motorist driving on the R512 was forced to a halt by a Toyota Conquest.
The victim alleged that six suspects, three of whom were armed, suddenly approached his vehicle.
“The victim was tied up and robbed of his personal belongings and the vehicle. The suspects drove off, leaving him in the bushes. The victim managed to walk to the road where he was helped by a passer-by,” Myburgh added.
In another case, it’s believed the same syndicate used a damsel in distress as a pawn to lure a motorist. Sure enough, the plan worked. A motorist stopped to assist the lady on Dr Wild Fig Street. Then, the same group of suspects allegedly stormed out of the bushes and attacked the victim, making off with his vehicle and personal belongings.
After an intensive investigation, the task force arrested four suspects from the syndicate. Abrahim Thobejane (37), Gaven Khumalo (39), Edgar Maluleka (40) and Koos Maite (37) appeared before the Brits Magistrate’s Court on charges of hijacking and aggravated robbery, on Monday.
All four suspects were remanded in custody until their next court appearance which is scheduled for Tuesday 1 December 2020.
The three remaining members of the syndicate were also nabbed. The suspects are expected to appear before the Attridgeville and Krugersdorp Magistrate’s Courts, respectively.
Unlike their other co-conspirators, the three suspects face “charges of hijacking, murder and unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition.”
The effort of the task team was lauded by the province’s top-cop Lieutenant General Sello Kwena.
“He reiterated that police will continue to work hard to ensure that perpetrators are brought to book,” the statement concluded.