It is believed that multiple robber gangs, using spikes or other objects to stop vehicles, are operating along the R104 (Old Bronkhorstspruit Road) where a man was shot and killed on Saturday.
Police are investigating a murder case after the body of a man, who died of a gunshot wound, was discovered close to his vehicle on Saturday.
Silverton police spokesperson, Warrant Officer Isaac Mculu, said the incident took place around 21:30, only a few kilometres before the Skierlik informal settlement.
“The man, who was a taxi driver, drove over the spikes and got a flat tyre,” Mculu said.
“When he stopped to check his tyre, he was ambushed by four men, two of whom were armed.”
The 56-year-old man was shot in the chest and robbed of his belongings which included two phones and some cash.
Mculu said the man was found dead a few meters away from his vehicle, which suggested that he may have tried to run after he was shot.
“Police have launched a manhunt for the suspects. We urge anyone with information to contact the Silverton police station.”
Over the past few weeks, the road has been the scene of a spate of attacks on motorists who encounter spikes or rocks being placed on the road.
This has led members of security companies and the Community Policing Forum in the area to believe that there is a gang operating along the R104.
According to AfriForum’s Gauteng safety co-ordinator, Llewellyn Hemmens, the activities on the road suggest that there is an “arrogant” gang of robbers, targeting unsuspecting motorists.
“It looks like it’s a new gang that’s working in that area,” he said.
“They operate even while police patrols are on. So they are taking advantage of the fact that no one is expecting them to attack while patrols are on. They are actually very arrogant.”
Previously, it was reported that the criminals mostly operate around midnight and in the early hours of the morning. This is no longer the case.
“There is no pattern, they have become very unpredictable,” Hemmens said.
In some of the spiking incidents, motorists have either been shot or shot at by robbers.
Boschkop CPF chairperson Ross Welsh is of the opinion that there is more than one gang operating along the R104.
“There is definitely more than one gang. There are different crimes as you move along the road,” he said.
“There are parts of the road where some throw stones at your vehicle. Then you have guys higher up the road who seem to be part of a different gang because they do it differently by placing large objects across the road.
“Some victims have told us that the robbers, after taking your valuables, are immediately picked up by a getaway vehicle.”
Welsh urged motorists in distress to call 10111 and to avoid stopping when they encounter any objects on the road.
“Don’t stop for anyone until you get to a garage or an open well-lit public area. The most important thing is that you keep your eyes on the road. Try using alternative routes.”