A syndicate that steals the wheels of trucks at gas stations at night along the N1 freeway in the Free State and the Northern Cape, gives truck owners and gas stations headaches.
The syndicate strikes at night to allegedly inject gas into the cockpit so drivers are asleep. Then the expensive wheels are removed from the trucks. The damage can amount to R100 000 or more per night.
In the latest incident on Monday in the early hours of the morning, a security guard of the Pro-Force Security Group was tied up and threatened at a Bloemfontein gas station.
According to Jacques Human of Pro-Force, the thieves threatened one of his guards to “just release” them and not bother them while “working”.
“The thieves target specific trucks, mostly Volvo’s and Scania’s.”
According to Brig. Motantsi Makhele, provincial police spokesman, Mercedes trucks are also falling victim to the theft.
Neels Grobbelaar, driver at Bloem Plaza Truck Stop, says in one of the incidents the truck driver was threatened with a panga while his truck’s wheels were removed.
“They know exactly where the security cameras are and they escape it perfectly.
“In one of the incidents, they cut a hole in my game camp’s wire and got into it.”
Makhlele says they are investigating the incidents, but no one has been arrested yet.
“We cannot confirm that this is a syndicate, but we will not rule out the possibility.”