The police have cautioned motorists in Windhoek and elsewhere not to stop for strangers or drive through isolated places during the night as criminals have mastered new tricks to rob motorists.
The tricks include a person lying on the road as though injured only to rob a motorist when he/she gets out of the vehicle to inspect the supposedly injured person.
Criminals are also said to throw bricks at vehicles at stop signs at road junctions and when they stop to investigate what has happened they are further beaten and robbed.
Criminals also remove your vehicle number plate, then drive beside your vehicle to show you your number plate has maybe fallen off, and when you stop to get it, they attack.
A Kleine Kuppe resident Cynthia Rukira was recently attacked by group of men who she suspects removed her number plate at an outlet in town and drove behind her. She was driving along the Rehoboth-Windhoek road that is dark at night. The robbers flashed their lights and drove beside her car to show her the number plate.
“I slowed down and stopped and a guy came out of the car with the number plate. I pulled my window down. He punched me in the face to disorientate me. I started the car but I could not drive away, maybe because I was shocked. He then unlocked the car through the window and pushed me onto the passenger seat. He had a beer bottle, which he hit me with and punched me as well. He drove to a darker place and while driving he told me to keep my head down,” relates Rukira. When the robber stopped the car his friends came out and took Rukira’s cellphone and bag. The robbers also asked what else she had in her car.
According to Rukira, the robber asked her to get out of the car and walk into the bushes, which she thinks was to give the robbers ample time to escape and for her not to follow them.
“I thought I was going to die,” added Rukira who had to see a doctor as her mouth was badly injured and she could not speak. Rukira opened a case at a mini police station.
Police spokesperson Inspector Slogan Matheus confirmed that such an incident was with the police.
“But what I can’t say with certainty is if the number plate was removed or if it fell off. But we had an incident of such nature,” said Matheus, adding that this is not new to the police. Matheus warned the public not to stop for strangers or at isolated places.
Nampol spokesperson Deputy Commissioner Edwin Kanguatjivi added that each time there is a new syndicate robbing motorists.
Kanguatjivi said he is aware of robbers who would drive next to a motorist and attract their attention. When the driver stops the robbers descend on the driver to rob him/her or even take the vehicle.