South African police have intensified patrols along the N1 highway in Limpopo province, where armed robbers are using spikes to pounce on motorists.
The N1 highway is a major commercial road that links South Africa and most Sadc countries north of the Limpopo River, among them Zimbabwe, Zambia, DRC, Malawi and Angola.
At least 1200 commercial trucks, 80 buses, 1000 light motor vehicles from Sadc use the road daily to access various towns in the neighbouring country.
The Chronicle quotes Limpopo police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo as saying police were on high alert.
Mojapelo said they had recorded three cases of armed robberies linked to the use of spikes under the Mokopane policing area between August 21 and 22. Said Brig Mojapelo:
We want to warn members of the community, especially motorists making use of the N1 and R101 roads between Polokwane and Kranskop Toll Plaza to be vigilant of criminals placing spikes on the road intending to rob them.
This is after three similar incidents took place over the weekend under Mokopane policing precinct from 21 to 22 August 2021.
The sharp objects are reportedly placed by the criminals on the road, resulting in motorists experiencing punctures and being forced to stop to change the tyres. The victims are then robbed of their belongings at gunpoint.
He said the criminals were pouncing on the motorists as soon as they stop to change tyres and robbing them at gunpoint.
Brig Mojapelo said the police have launched a manhunt for the suspects in all three incidents.
He said anyone with information on the incidents should contact the nearest police station.
In June this year, police in South Africa arrested a gang of armed robbers suspected to be made up of Zimbabweans that had firearms and spikes which the gang used in its operations in N4.
More: Pindula News