The hijacked delivery vehicle which was recovered in New Brighton on Tuesday
Image: supplied

A courier vehicle transporting R10 000 worth of cellphones was hijacked in New Brighton on Tuesday morning.

This marks the third truck hijacking since last week Thursday in Nelson Mandela Bay.

More than R3.5-million worth of stock has collectively been stolen in the hijackings. 

According to police, the RTT courier bakkie was recovered abandoned – with two large boxes of cellphones missing - at about midday.

The Port Elizabeth K9 unit managed to track the vehicle to Ntladi Street – less than a kilometre from where the incident took place.

Police spokesman Captain Andre Beetge said  the hijacking happened outside Shoprite in Dubu Street in New Brighton at about 10.30am.

“The driver and a passenger were doing a routine drop-off at the shop. As they parked, two men confronted them and held them at gunpoint. The passenger was pulled out of the delivery truck and locked in the back," he said.

“The suspects then forced the driver to drive to the nearby Ntladi Street where the suspects opened the back and grabbed the two large boxes. They then fled on foot.”

Last week, two trucks  were hijacked in separate incidents in Nelson Mandela Bay.

In one incident, a truck was pulled over by robbers driving a VW Polo with flashing blue lights. The robbers, pretending to be law-enforcement officers, hijacked the truck which was transporting R3-million worth of catalytic converters, in Hope Street, Sidwell.

A day later, another truck was hijacked between Kinkelbos and Nanaga on the N2 and several tons of meat, worth R500 000, was stolen.

Within hours, seven people, including the truck driver, were arrested after some of the meat was recovered on a farm in Kragga Kamma.

Beetge said the increase in delivery truck hijackings had been noted.

“We are concerned about this increase and are advising all the delivery companies to be extra cautious. Our detectives are following up leads on various groups but to date no arrests have been made,” he said.

Beetge added that the main targets appeared to be new cellphones and fresh meat.

All the cases are under investigation by the provincial organised crime unit.