Hijacking of bakkie with explosives signals 'start of ATM bombing season'

26 August 2019 - 16:17 By alex patrick
Police fear the hijacking of a bakkie in Joburg could signal the onset of a 'season' of ATM and cash-in-transit robberies.
Police fear the hijacking of a bakkie in Joburg could signal the onset of a 'season' of ATM and cash-in-transit robberies.
Image: 123RF/123RF Premium

Police suspect a bakkie hijacked in Johannesburg on August 14 was targeted because it was carrying explosives that could be used to attack ATMs and cash delivery vans.

West Rand police are seeking help from the community to locate the white Isuzu bakkie and the hijackers they suspect may be planning more sinister crimes. 

West Rand SAPS spokesperson Const Lucky Matome said the bakkie belonged to a Florida engineering company and was occupied by two workers at the time it was stolen.

The hijacking occurred about 9.30am along the N12 near Zuurbekom. At least six armed men driving three vehicles, two VW Polos and a Nissan NP300, forced the bakkie off the road.

The victims were robbed of an undisclosed amount of money and cellphones before they were dropped off nearby, unharmed.

The hijackers made off with explosives and other industrial equipment. 

Matome said anyone found to have participated in the crime would face the full might of the law. 

“Some of these explosives are used to commit other violent crimes such as bombing of cash delivery vehicles or ATM bombings.

“We don’t want to spook people [who may be driving with this equipment] but about this time of year, these kinds of vehicles are common targets.  

"West Rand police are seeking community help with information on the whereabouts of a Isuzu KB250 bakkie with registration DS80FMGP.”

The district commissioner for the West Rand, Maj-Gen Fred Kekana, asked the community to help with any information that could lead to the arrest of the suspects, and the recovery of the vehicle and its cargo.

“SAPS alone cannot address this challenge, thus collaboration is key, and we commit to mobilise all sectors of the community to take an active role in their safety.

“Community members are urged to contact the police immediately and the community is further urged not to attempt to touch these explosives as they are harmful. Furthermore, not to confront the suspects, as the safety of our community is our priority,” he said.