Updated 18 July 2014

Hijackers' new dirty trick to get you off the road

Travellers have been warned that car hijackers are placing rocks and cement blocks in the road in an effort to derail you.

After two incidents involving an airport employee and a pilot in just the last month, travellers have been issued a warning when heading to Cape Town International Airport along the N2.

A pilot narrowly escaped being robbed, while another airport employee was reportedly robbed and attacked in what is the latest scheme car hijackers are using to separate you from your car and other belongings.

What is the latest hijacking modus operandi?

Hijackers are placing cardboard boxes or plastic bags that contain or cover large rocks or chunks of concrete in the middle of the road.

They place up to three in the road, often in broad daylight, giving the driver little choice but to hit one of them.

When a car drives over these, it causes serious damage to the car and forces the driver to pull over. 

As soon as the driver pulls over, hijackers ambush him/her.

Or, as happened to SAA cabin crew member Wesley Ford, he pulled up to avoid the rocks and and the hijackers took the opportunity to attack him.

Luckily he escaped with just a couple of bruises after a truck driver stopped to help him, IOL reports.

Aiports Company of South Africa is aware of the recent incidents and say they are engaging in the necessary security to put preventative measure in place. They are also working with the SA police. 

Remember that if this is happening on one stretch of road, chances are it is going to happen on others.

How to stay safe(r)

Road users are advised to be vigilant and drive carefully - don't speed - so that you have enough time to react before hitting the rocks. Under no circumstances should you drive over the bags or boxes. Take great care when driving at night or when visibility is poor. Keep your windows closed and your doors locked.

If you are hijacked:

If you are being hijacked, try to stay calm, follow instructions, but look scared. The hijacker wants to feel he has power over you. Don't stare at the hijacker – this could be interpreted as defiance. Don't argue, or scream, especially if you suspect the hijacker may have a weapon. Rather give up your car. It's worth a lot less than your life.

Find our how to react in hijacking situations and to protect yourself

Ensure you have the relevant emergency numbers on speed dial on your cellphone.

All emergencies from a cellphone - 112
SAPS Emergencies/flying squad - 10111
Ambulance - 10177
Difficulty with emergency services - 1022


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