An alert has been issued by an SA biking group, warning motorcyclists about an increase of hijackings in the Kempton Park area.
According to road safety organisation, MasterDrive, said: “Motorcyclists have been shot in the head and pushed off their bikes by motorcycle mounted hijackers. Even though some of the hijackers have been caught it is still important for all bikers to take cognisance of the risk of a motorbike hijacking.”
Managing director of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert (an avid motorcyclist), says that motorcyclists need to be careful not to fall into the trap of believing that hijackings are something unique to cars and trucks.
Herbert adds: “It is this notion that makes them vulnerable to criminals. You also need to be as aware and prepared for a potential motorbike hijacking as what you would be in a car.
“It is near impossible to communicate over the noise of the bike and while you are wearing a helmet. As such bikers can also be even more vulnerable to injury if confronted with a hijacking situation. Consequently, motorcyclists need to make sure they always aware of what is happening around them and be ready to respond should you find yourself in this situation.”
Masterdrive issues the following advice:
• Do not assume that all fellow bikers are friendly.
• If a biker pulls up alongside you with a pillion rider – keep an eye on them.
• Do not box yourself in – if that person starts to get off the bike, and there is an opportunity to safely pull off, you can.
• If you suspect someone is following you, drive to the nearest safe haven or public place making sure you always have an escape route every time you stop.
• Be aware. Take note of people who may be following you.
• Be wary of pedestrians by traffic lights or near your home or people standing around as you approach your motorbike.
• As you approach a red traffic light, slow down so that you avoid coming to a complete stop.
• Make sure your driveway is well-lit and clear of shrubbery.
• Do not always drive the same route every day. Where you can, alternate it.
Bike hijacking in Kempton Park
According to local newspaper Kempton Express, an alleged suspect had been caught and arrested after two men were reported to stealing a blue Red Bull Honda CBR 1000 in Birchleigh, near Kempton Park earlier in May 2017.
The victim, who had asked not to be identified, was quoted as saying to the Kempton Express: “I saw the two men at a petrol garage near Laerskool Kruinsig in Glen Marais but I was not really concerned about them. I did not even notice what they were doing there but they followed me home on their motorcycle. As I opened the gate, they approached me and one of them jumped me with a firearm. I started running towards the house and he fired a shot.
“Those men wanted to kill me and take my motorbike. I don’t think they just wanted to scare me.”
Police in the area had confirmed that one of the suspects had been arrested after he failed to get away after the hijacking incident. His partner fled the scene on the stolen motorcycle while he had been struggling with the ‘getaway’ bike.
He was left stranded and, according to reports, was chased down from community members.
The suspect was later apprehended after falling from a roof nearby.