Driver 'hijacked, kidnapped' as thugs target e-hailing industry in Nelson Mandela Bay

15 July 2019 - 08:38
Criminals are targeting the e-hailing industry in Nelson Mandela Bay.
Image: iStock Criminals are targeting the e-hailing industry in Nelson Mandela Bay.

Two men who allegedly hijacked an Uber vehicle and kidnapped a driver at the weekend were arrested on Sunday.

The driver collected the men at the Virgin Active gym in Humerail on Sunday, just after 5am.

They asked to be dropped off in Colchester.

The Herald reported earlier in July that the e-hailing industry, including Uber and Bolt, was under attack in Nelson Mandela Bay, with drivers targeted by syndicates for their cellphones, money and cars.

Over the past two months, robberies and hijackings of Uber and Bolt drivers in the city have spiked.

According to police, more than 15 cases have been reported since about April.

Drivers identified high-risk areas as Zwide, New Brighton, parts of Motherwell and the northern areas, with sporadic attacks in other suburbs.

In the latest incident, police spokesperson Captain Sandra Janse van Rensburg said the men were arrested in Helenvale.

Before the arrests, the Uber driver was driven back to Port Elizabeth after being pushed into the boot of the car.

“When they reached Colchester, they directed the driver on to a gravel road and then asked him to stop,” she said.

“The one suspect was armed with a knife and they threatened the complainant and robbed him of his belongings. He was then shoved in the boot of his Suzuki.”

The men drove back towards Port Elizabeth and allegedly tried to sell the car.

Just before 9am, police received a tip-off about a vehicle in Fitchard Street, Helenvale.

“Back-up arrived and the suspects were confronted,” Janse van Rensburg said. “The driver, 23, of Central, was found in the boot.”

A case of hijacking and kidnapping was opened.

The suspects will appear in the Motherwell Magistrate’s Court this week.