Look out for bogus cops on the road

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

Police in Newcastle in northern KwaZulu-Natal yesterday warned locals and visitors to be on the lookout for robbers posing as police officers.

The con artists, who dress like police officers, are wanted in connection with several robberies.

The robbers are terrorising motorists on the N11 linking Newcastle to Mpumalanga province.

They have allegedly stopped several motorists during the day and at night.

In the most recent case the two "con officers" stopped a motorist, hijacked the vehicle then dropped the owner off on the side of the road.

Police spokesman Shooze Magudulela said the suspects escaped with a Nissan motor car with the registration KGV 480 GP.

"Motorists should not stop in deserted areas. If a person does not believe that flashing lights are that of police, they should drive to the nearest petrol service station," he said.

He said people should stop when they see marked police vehicles.

"And if it's at night they should stop when the vehicles have blue lights.

"But if the motorists have suspicions they should try to contact police," said Magudulela.

He said it is advisable for a motorist to see that the people who were stopping them were really police.

"Police officers always have proper identification and it's easy to see them. And if they are investigators they carry their appointment cards," said Magudulela.

Asked how the con artists got hold of police uniforms he said: "It is impossible for ordinary people to get police uniforms. These uniforms look like police outfits but are not the real thing."

Meanwhile, criminals are now using explosives to blow open the roofs of businesses.

This week the roof of a Kentucky outlet in Newcastle was blown open and the robbers escaped with an undisclosed amount of cash.

And at a clothing shop, Jadwats, robbers got in the same way and stole cash from the safe.