A 19-year-old Port Elizabeth university student was hijacked when a SUV rear-ended the back of her vehicle in order to get her to step out of the car.
The incident has sparked police to warn motorists to be extra vigilant and not to fall prey to such tactics used by hijackers.
Police spokesman Captain Andre Beetge said that the incident, which is believed to be isolated, happened at the intersection of Chelsea Road and Ralo Road in Kwamagxaki at 10:30am on Thursday morning.
The teenager, who is not being named as she is the complainant in the hijacking, lives in Uitenhage and was en route to Nelson Mandela University when she pulled into the Kwamagxaki area to refuel.
“A teenage student driving an Etios stopped at the intersection when the traffic light turned red. While she was at the intersection, a dark grey GWM SUV with four men inside bumped into the back of her car,” he said.
“She got out of the car to assess the damage. After looking at the damage, she went back to the driver’s seat to fetch her cellphone to alert her relatives of the accident. As she got her phone, two men pounced on her.”
Beetge said that the men wrestled the phone away from her leading to a scuffle.
“The woman clung to the phone while the two attacker’s continued to try take it out of her hands. During the attack, she fell to the ground,” he said.
“The men then jumped into her car and sped off.”
A passer-by witnessed the hijacking and flagged down a passing police vehicle a few streets away.
A search was launched for the stolen Etios and within 15 minutes of the hijacking, police found it abandoned about 4 km’s away at Ferriera’s Ground informal settlement in Kleinskool.
“The vehicle was found abandoned in the informal area by a patrolling police van. Members from the Port Elizabeth Flying Squad started patrolling around the area to see if they could spot the SUV. A short while later the SUV was spotted driving around the Chatty area in Kleinskool, The SUV was boxed in by police and all four occupants arrested,” Beetge said.
According to police, the student only sustained minor injuries in the scuffle during the hijacking.
Beetge said that the detectives were busy profiling the men and would consult with the National Prosecuting Authority to determine if additional charges could be added.
All four were arrested for hijacking and will appear in the New Brighton Magistrates Court on Monday.