Motorists urged to be vigilant as 'spike gangs' target Tshwane roads

Tshwane police have urged motorists to remain vigilant amid an increase in attacks by 'spike gangs'.
Tshwane police have urged motorists to remain vigilant amid an increase in attacks by 'spike gangs'.
Image: TMPD

Criminals are laying spikes on roads in and around Tshwane and robbing motorists when they stop.

Tshwane metro police spokesperson Isaac Mahamba said the highway patrol unit has been deployed to monitor hotspots.

This was confirmed by Gauteng police spokesperson Capt Mavela Masondo, who said police visibility “has been intensified with the deployment of a highway patrol unit”.

Mahamba urged motorists to remain vigilant and to try to avoid hitting any object “even if it looks like a plastic bottle”.

He said no arrests had been made yet in connection with the incidents.

Tshwane district police said over the weekend that routes targeted include Soutpan Road, the R566, the N1 and the N4, both heading to Witbank, and the section heading to Rustenburg.

Tshwane metro police identified the N4 towards Bronkhorstspruit and Mabopane highway as hotspots.

Metro FM DJ Lamiez Holworthy shared on social media that she had fallen victim to the crime earlier this week.

“Two tyres messed because of a spiked object in the fast lane on the N4! Thank God I was able to control the car and also wasn’t too far from a filling station. Please be careful and extra vigilant on the N4,” the DJ told her 200,000 followers on Monday.

A Netcare ICU vehicle's tyres were damaged earlier this month after the ambulance ran over spikes on the N1. 

Spokesperson Shawn Herbst said the incident happened on April 9 when the vehicle was transporting a “critical patient” just before midnight.

“The crew drove for as long as they could with all four tyres ripped apart but eventually had to pull over. Fortunately there was a police vehicle behind them which pulled over as well and waited with them until another ambulance was able to come to assist,” he told TimesLIVE. 

On social media, one Tshwane motorist, Tshepo, recounted his experience and that of a friend's on different sections of the N4 and less than two years apart.

Tshepo was derailed by a brick and robbed of his possessions on the N4 Rustenburg- bound while his friend who came to his rescue at the time fell victim to a similar tactic less than two years later on a different stretch of the road. 

“They put a brick on the carriageway so I hit it and had to stop. As I was busy trying to change the tyre, about seven guys came out of the bush and I was robbed,” he said. 

The frightened motorist was then taken into the bush by some of the criminals while others searched his car for money and valuables. He was then instructed to share his bank card PIN number with the group before they made their escape.

Tshepo managed to contact a friend and the duo were able to get his car to the nearest garage for help. 

Speaking of his friend's incident, Tshepo said: “My friend ran over spikes but because his tyres are run-flats, he continued driving.”

While the friend escaped unharmed, the spikes did damage his wheel rims.

The incident happened between the Solomon Mahlangu and Watermeyer off-ramps.

TimesLIVE

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