Car-jacking, robberies, on the rise, in northern Namibia…Police warns drivers to be vigilant

BY MAX ITAMALO

WITH the number of incidents of car-jacking and robberies on the rise, the police in the north of the country are appealing to drivers to be vigilant at night and scrutinize their passengers when giving lifts, especially during the night. Several incidents of car-jacking where drivers are robbed of their vehicles by ‘passengers’ have been reported to the police in the northern regions of the country especially in Oshana and Ohangwena, the police say.

Last weekend, a taxi driver was robbed of his car at Ondangwa after giving a lift to two men who asked him to take them to Oniipa town at 23h00. According to police, before the taxi reached the destination, the men asked the taxi driver to stop for one of them to relieve himself. It was during this time that the duo overpowered the driver and robbed him of his ‘Dankie Botswana’ car, cellphone and N$ 700 in cash. The car was found abandoned next to the Ondangwa airport. No arrests have been made so far and police investigations continue.

On Monday another taxi driver was allegedly attacked at Ongwediva when two men and a woman boarded his car and asked to be taken to Ongwediva’s Hanover location. While on the way there, one of the passengers grabbed him from behind, causing the vehicle to swerve and come to a standstill. The passengers tried to grab the car keys from him but fortunately, passersby noticed what was happening and came to his rescue. The attackers made off on foot and no arrests were made.

It appears not only drivers fall victim during car robberies but passengers as well, Inspector Tomas Aiyambo of Oshana police said on Saturday, two passengers were robbed of their cellphones and N$ 800 in cash when three men robbed them after the pair (male and female) took a taxi from a service station at Ongwediva destined for Oshakati.

“They boarded the taxi with three men inside at around 23h30 on Saturday night. The driver diverted from the main road and drove towards the Ompundja gravel road where they threatened the victims to send money to their (suspects’) phones before grabbing their phones and fleeing in their car leaving the victims in the dark,” he said.

Aiyambo said the male passenger had transferred the N$ 800 which was on his account. No one has been arrested so far, Aiyambo cautioned people travelling at night to always scrutinize whom they give lifts to. Aiyambo pointed out there has been similar incidents in the regions in the past.