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Spike-throwing highway robbers terrorise motorists

by Staff reporter
25 Dec 2020 at 07:04hrs | Views
A group of criminals operating along the Harare-Beitbridge Highway is robbing drivers by putting spikes on the road to puncture tyres of vehicles coming from the border town.

When the drivers stop, the robbers attack and usually strip their victims of cash and goods.

Police yesterday warned motorists to be on the lookout for the spikes on the road, especially at night.

The robbers are targeting motorists coming from South Africa through Beitbridge on their way to Masvingo and Harare. They assume these vehicles have goods that can be stolen and the drivers are probably carrying foreign currency.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said police have since been deployed to carry out patrols along the highway. He said in one incident, a motorist and his friend lost cash, cellphones and clothes to seven armed robbers after all tyres on their vehicle were punctured this week.

The robbers then emerged from the roadside bush and attacked the two men. "Motorists travelling along Masvingo–Beitbridge Road are urged to be cautious and look out for spikes as they drive. Two men were robbed of their cash, cellphones and clothes after their vehicle deflated both front and rear tyres.

"Seven suspects emerged from the bush, robbed them and drove off. The suspects also drove away the victims' vehicle and dumped it about 5.4km away from the scene. Part of the stolen cash amounting to R5 600 was recovered," he said.

He warned armed robbers that they will be arrested as authorities were on top of the situation. Last week, four suspected armed robbers attacked and robbed a motorist after he had parked his vehicle along the Masvingo-Beitbridge Road after his vehicle had two punctures on the same side at night.

The motorist failed to fix the punctures and he was confronted by the robbers while he was sitting in his vehicle.

The robbers attacked and stole an undisclosed amount of foreign currency and groceries before disappearing into the darkness.

A report was made to police and investigations are still in progress. There are fears that there is another group of armed robbers who are also putting spikes and various sharp objects along the country's major roads. Some of the targeted vehicles are made easy prey as drivers park in secluded areas to rest.

More than 10 people have been attacked by robbers while parked in bushy areas around Beitbridge in the last 18 months.

Another trick used by robbers is to barricade a side road. Last month, police in Beitbridge launched a manhunt for 10 armed robbers who attacked eight motorists in separate incidents in the border town, after blocking with stones a section of the Beitbridge-Dite Road at night.

The robbers ransacked the vehicles and got away with cash, groceries, cellphones and many other items.

In another incident, a man who was driving a Nissan Caravan with one passenger on board found the road blocked with large stones at the 10km peg along the road. When he got out to remove the stones, he was confronted by 10 robbers wearing face masks and balaclavas. The robbers who were armed with a pistol and rifles fired shots before attacking the victims.

Source - the herald