A Port Alfred farm security company owner foiled a hijacking last week when he tailed a hijacked truck loaded with alcohol and caused the robbers to abandon the vehicle and flee.
Dudley Waters of Panther Farm Security was alerted to the hijacking of an Imperial Logistics truck en route to Port Alfred on a WhatsApp security group and soon afterward, at about 1pm, spotted the truck near the Royal Marina entrance on Albany Road (R72).
He called Atlas Security and SAPS for back-up.
Explaining his quick reaction, Waters said: “On the R72 I picked up the truck and I start chasing it, but I do not put on any [flashing] lights on because I wanted the police to close them in from the front.”
He said the truck turned left into Bathurst Road (R67), and he thought the hijackers must have noticed that he was following them and was trying to elude him.
“When it got to Titi Jonas Multipurpose Centre they [the hijackers] must have realised that I was behind them so they turned right and drove into the bush.”
When they realised that he was following the truck towards the bush they jumped out and fled. Waters pursued, firing warning shots into the air, but the hijackers got away.
He went back to check on the truck and discovered the traumatised driver and his passenger were still in the vehicle, behind the seat. They told him they had been held captive by the hijackers.
Waters felt that as well as recovering the truck with its cargo, he might very well have saved the lives of the driver and passenger.
Neither of the men was injured and the cargo also appeared intact.
At a later stage Atlas and the police arrived at the scene to help Waters.
The truck appeared to have been hijacked on the road between Uitenhage and Addo, and the case has been transferred to the Uitenhage cluster.
Asked for comment, police spokesperson Captain Mali Govender said SAPS had received an alert from Atlas & Farm Security, Port Alfred, that a possible stolen truck was traveling on the R72 towards Port Alfred/East London.
“Security cameras spotted the truck. The company tracking device was disabled,” Govender said.
Her report followed Waters’ description of events after he had spotted the truck. She said SAPS in Nemato and Bathurst joined the lookout for the truck.
“According to [the driver and passenger], four suspects abandoned the truck after realising that they were followed,” Govender said.
“A comprehensive search by SAPS, including Vispol, detectives and K9, and security followed without success.”
She said a blue Polo, registration unknown, was involved in the hijacking.