mugging

Patrons at two garages in Midrand were targeted. Image: Wikimedia

Mugging while hugging: Alarming new tactic emerges in Gauteng

A new mugging tactic has been in observed in Gauteng, with intoxicated individuals in particular being easy prey.

mugging

Patrons at two garages in Midrand were targeted. Image: Wikimedia

The owner of a local garage in Midrand – the BP Express Waterfall – has observed instances of a new mugging manoeuvre.

He reported that criminals are using an unmarked car and have been targeting individuals – particularly vulnerable individuals who are believed to be intoxicated.

According to Rajan Pillay of Hawkeye Security, the criminals will pretend to know the victims and make close contact with or hug them while pick-pocketing their valuables.

“Patrons at two garages in Midrand were targeted by two males driving a white Polo hatchback without number plates,” Pillay told the Midrand Reporter.

“They attempted this tactic with several customers and eventually succeeded in snatching cellphones from two males at one garage and another customer at a different garage.”

A mugging distraction strategy

Pillay has advised residents and motorists to be vigilant and avoid close contact with unknown persons.

Referring to the two incidents in May, he explained that criminals use this tactic to distract victims and then steal items like cell phones, wallets, and other personal belongings.

The owner of BP Express Waterfall described the incidents as unfortunate.

“We have asked our security team to look into it,” he said, while adding “You should not allow strangers to approach you and enter your personal space. The victims were made to believe they knew the criminals and were mugged while hugging.”

Low-income residents get new geysers from City

In more positive news from Midrand, City Power has initiated a programme to audit and install new solar geysers in low-income households in the area.

A bid by City Power to install new geysers is part of the City’s efforts to take strain off Johannesburg’s power grid and promote energy efficiency.

The programme commenced on 19 March, with aims to benefit low-income households in Midrand and Lenasia.

Isaac Mangena, spokesperson for City Power, said the first objective of the programme was to assess the working condition of solar water heaters that were installed 10 years ago.

“The utility has started with the process of assessing those water heating facilities to see how many are functioning well out of all that were installed,” Mangena told the Midrand Reporter.

“This work, which will include house-to-house visits for audit purposes, will be carried out by appointed agents.