Law enforcement agencies said they were working on addressing the concerning increase of so-called ‘spike incidents’ placed quiet in several roads around Pretoria. South African Police Service (SAPS) said criminals would usually cover the spikes with a plastic bag, so they were unnoticed by a motorist, who drove over them damaging their cars.

The Tshwane Metro Police Spokesperson Superintendent Isaac Mahamba said, “we have deployed our highway unit, members from the region and our K9 units to patrol known hotspots.” “The TMPD had no luck in arrests ‘so far’,” said Mahamba.

“We are having meetings with other law enforcement agencies to address this as we’re concerned about the increase and we won’t rest until these criminals, who are terrorising members of the community, are arrested.” Gauteng Traffic Police spokesperson Sello Maremane said in about a week, they receive about three or more reports of incidents of vehicles being spiked.

He said not much information could be divulged as these reports were still under investigation. Maremane warned motorists against criminals placing spikes and other objects on public roads to rob unsuspecting motorists. He said in other instances, hard objects were at times thrown from overhead bridges resulting in motorists losing control of their vehicles and then get involved in unnecessary accidents and being robbed of their belongings in the process.

“The modus operandi is that these criminals move from one area to the other where the roads are quiet to rob motorists of their hard-earned cash and other belongings.” “These incidents happen especially on Friday evenings and throughout the weekend between 18:00 and 04:00 in the morning.”

The following route sections have been identified as hotspots: The N4 Mpumalanga to Pretoria between Solomon Mahlangu and Watermeyer, off-ramp, the N4 Pretoria to Mpumalanga between Bronkhorstspruit and Balmoral off-ramp, the N1 Polokwane N4 Mpumalanga interchange in Pretoria, the N4 to Rustenburg between R80 Mabopane Freeway and Brits plaza tollgate, and the Golden highway. – R21 Freeway from OR Tambo International airport to Pretoria.Maremane said the Gauteng Traffic Police would continue to conduct law enforcement operations on Gauteng’s major routes and highways to ensure that anyone found placing an object was apprehended.

Motorists are further urged to be vigilant and report any suspicious movements on freeways to the Gauteng Traffic Police radio control room at 011-689-3712 or 011-689-3999 or alternatively they can contact the police on the Crime Stop number 08600-10111.

By: Mpho Khena.

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