SWAKOPMUND - The Namibian Police in Erongo Region have issued a stern warning to motorists and tourists not to stop for any vehicles that appears to have run out of fuel or experience mechanical problems along deserted coastal roads as criminals use these tricks.
Deputy Commissioner Erastus Iikuyu says criminals pretending they have mechanical problems or under the pretence, their vehicles have run out of fuel have ambushed unsuspecting tourists after they pretended they need roadside assistance.
“Once people stop to assist them, these suspects rob them of their belongings,” Iikuyu warned tourists and other motorists.
According to him, criminals have attacked tourists on secluded gravel roads in the surroundings of Uis, Usakos, Henties Bay and Spitzkoppe. Hence, he says tourists should be vigilant, especially when they stop for sightseeing.
“Criminals are really preying on our tourists and road users and hence we should be extra careful and rather not stop along deserted roads,” he said.
He says in the latest incident, a group of Chinese tourists had their car window smashed when they stopped about 10 kilometres before Uis to take pictures. They lost several valuable items in the attack.
In another incident about two weeks ago, a couple in a rented car was attacked by two men who stopped in front of their vehicle with an empty fuel container. The suspects attacked the couple’s car with a baseball bat as well as an axe.
They however managed to escape with the assistance of other tourists and alerted the police.
Earlier last month, two Chinese women were also attacked and robbed during sightseeing in the Spitzkoppe area.
Hence, he says, members of the public, road users as well as farmers using the gravel roads or staying in the hotspot areas should report suspicious vehicles, particularly those without number plates and those parked by the roadside.