‘Blue light’ robbers posing as police officers seize refrigerated vehicle on N2
A group of robbers driving a car fitted with a flashing blue light hijacked a refrigerated truck – packed with meat – on the N2 while it was leaving Port Elizabeth.
The hijacking, which took place at about 6pm on Monday, prompted police to warn residents about robbers posing as police officers.
The robbers drive unmarked cars fitted with dashboard- mounted blue lights.
Since last month, there have been at least seven hijackings across the Bay by a gang using blue lights to pull motorists off the road.
Police spokeswoman Colonel Priscilla Naidu said while she could not give the exact number of cases in the past month, she could confirm that a few had been reported.
In most of the incidents, commercial delivery trucks are hijacked and their stock taken – almost always by robbers driving a VW Polo.
The meat truck, which was being driven from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town, was hijacked on the N2 between Greenbushes and St Albans.
“The driver and his passenger pulled off the road alongside the N2 when a white VW Polo with blue lights signalled for them to stop.
“The driver of the VW Polo approached the driver, forced him out of the vehicle at gunpoint and took him to the Polo.
“Two other suspects forced the passenger from the truck and placed him inside the Polo as well,” Naidu said.
“The truck was driven [away] by the suspects while the truck driver and passenger were held at gunpoint inside the Polo.
“The Polo followed the truck and the truck driver and his passenger were dropped off later in Uitenhage Road.”
She said the truck was found abandoned later on the lower bridge in the Van Stadens River Gorge.
“Some of the meat had been stolen,” she said.
By law, only officers – such as traffic and police officials who are authorised by the state – can drive a vehicle fitted with a blue light.
The use of blue lights by robbers and hijackers across the country has been going on for years.
The organised syndicate, dubbed the “Blue Light Gang”, impersonates police officers and creates fake roadblocks or pulls over motorists to hijack them.
Asked about prior hijackings, Naidu confirmed that over the past month there had been similar hijackings across the Bay.
Naidu said it was suspected that the robberies were the work of one specific gang.
“More information cannot be made public yet as we are following up on several leads,” she said.
All the cases have been handed over to the provincial organised crime unit, under vehicle hijacking task team leader LieutenantColonel Willie Mayi.
In July, three men believed to be part of a gang posing as police officers were arrested on the N2 outside Port Elizabeth.