South Africa

Photos of latest tyre spiking incident spark fears

Photos making the rounds on social media sparked fears that tyre spiking, a hijacking technique that arose in 2021, is back.

The incident allegedly happened just past 22:00 on Saturday night, March 11.

According to social activist Yusuf Abramjee, the motorist continued driving slowly along the centre of the road (middleman) after the tyre was damaged.

Since images of the incident were made public on social media, others have reported recent incidents, including one in Irene involving a large bolt.

As recently as late January, Akasia police warned motorists of tyre spiking trends after a couple was robbed by a “spike” gang.

In that incident, the victims hit a spike in the road just after 21:00. A man got out to replace the wheel when he and his spouse were robbed at gunpoint by four armed men.

TMPD and Gauteng traffic police did not confirm that the incident was a return of the 2021 “spike gang” operating on the N4.

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Pictures of the destroyed tyre are making their rounds on social media. Image: Facebook
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Pictures of the destroyed tyre are making their rounds on social media. Image: Facebook

However, AA spokesperson Layton Beard offered the following tips for motorists who suspected that they might be in danger following a tyre issue:

– Be as aware as you can. It may be difficult given things like non-working streetlights, but it is very important to be aware of your surroundings in any situation.

– Always keep your cellphone with you – don’t use it, but keep it nearby.

– Keep family or a trusted person aware of your journey using certain apps and checking in when leaving and arriving home.

– Some services include panic button devices or cellphone apps that can alert authorities when help is needed.

– In an emergency, try to push the panic button or request help through the app, but be aware of personal and passenger safety at all times.

– If attackers point a gun at you or threaten you, follow their instructions and do not attempt to overpower them.

“Protecting yourself and your passengers is paramount, a car can be replaced, a life can’t,” said Beard.

The Gauteng traffic police had the following advice on what to do when your vehicle has been spiked:

– Never stop your vehicle if you get a puncture; instead, drive slowly to the nearest garage, while contacting the Gauteng traffic police.

– If you are stopped by a traffic or police officer, demand to see their appointment certificate to verify whether such an officer is employed by the relevant authority.

– In case the officer fails to produce his or her appointment certificate, take down the patrol vehicle’s registration number and report them immediately at the nearest police station.

– If your vehicle has had a complete breakdown on the road, remain in the vehicle with your car doors locked while seeking assistance.

– Do not allow any person to tow your vehicle without written permission.

– Should you see that another motorist has been spiked, kindly stop and help them.

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