Police warn of new crime trend


JOBURG – That flat-tyre warning migh not be legit – police warn motorists.

Motorists are urged to remain vigilant in order to avoid being victims of crime.

Spokesperson for Johannesburg Central Police Station, Captain Xoli Mbele said they have noticed a new crime trend, which specifically targets motorists driving away from parking lots (at schools, shopping centres and on the streets).

Mbele shared that they recently arrested a 29-year-old male for theft out of a motor vehicle at the corner of Nugget and Market streets in central Johannesburg. It is alleged that two suspects stole a cellphone belonging to a 35-year-old female.

“The victim was driving a navy blue Toyota Corolla; after parking her vehicle, she went to fetch her children and when she returned to her car, someone knocked on her window and told her that her left-front tyre was flat,” said Mbele.

“She went to check the tyre and as she did so, they grabbed her cellphone and ran away.” He mentioned that the victim screamed for help and a security guard apprehended one suspect. His accomplice is still at large with the victim’s cellphone. Investigations are underway and the suspect will soon appear in the Johannesburg Magistrates’ Court.

Mbele urged motorists to work together with the police to eradicate this modus operandi around central Johannesburg.

He offered the following tips:

  • If someone shows you that your tyre is flat, don’t stop there to inspect your tyre. Drive to the nearest filling station or to the nearest police station where it will be safe for you to inspect your tyre
  • Remember you may be their potential target
  • When driving around Johannesburg central, ensure that your windows are slightly open or closed
  • Always be on the alert when approaching intersections and red traffic lights; most suspects are roaming around those places
  • Your doors must be locked at all times
  • Ensure that your valuables, such as handbags, wallets, laptops and iPads are placed in the boot of your car
  • Never display your valuables on the car seat.