Hijackers hunting cyclists – Times LIVE


A veteran of 22 Cape Argus Cycle Tours, he had to pedal for his life when confronted by a robber wielding a carving knife at 6.30am last week on Rustenburg Road.

Cyclists are being hijacked at gun- and knife-point in the suburb, spreading fear among the outdoors enthusiasts.

“This guy was chasing me down the road with the knife. I think he would have stabbed me had I not managed to escape,” said Munton.

Munton, 65, who has been cycling the 32km route for 10 years, said he was able to maintain his balance on the bike, swerving as he escaped.

Paul Levy of Dunkeld was not as lucky. He was hijacked two weeks ago on the same road. The robbers, one carrying what looked like a gun, took his bike worth R165000.

“I gave them my bike instantly so that they would not draw the gun on me. It was an efficient attack and they were not in a hurry. They emptied out my pockets and took everything except my shoes, watch and helmet,” said Levy, sales director of a logistics company.

Many cyclists have been forced to change their routes.

“We have changed routes to avoid the problem area, but if people keep on buying second-hand bikes we may find this problem spreading to other areas,” said Laurent Scholtz, chairman of the Illovo cycling group.

He said cyclists were being hit with branches and their bikes stolen, usually to be disposed of at pawn shops.

“Cyclists being killed in a car accident is terrible but we dread the day when we have to read of a cyclist being killed for his bike.”

Kim Cupido, of Dunkeld Cycles, said there had been an alarming increase in the theft of bicycles.

“We know this because of the number of replacement quotes we are issuing to insurance companies,” she said.

Colonel Ivan Perumal, of the Brixton police, said four bicycle theft cases had been opened recently but the police were aware of other thefts posted on social media.

He urged victims to report the crimes.

“They need to open a docket at a police station so that we have more information, which will help us apprehend the thieves,” he said.

Alex Bramley, owner of Bike Market in Melville, said his customers were among the victims.

“We monitor the classified ads and online platforms on the lookout for stolen bikes but I think they are taken across our borders,” said Bramley.

“We are going to try to set up a sting operation with the police and local security companies to try to catch these guys.”

The Bike Hub, an online portal for bike enthusiasts, reported that 205 bikes were stolen in the Cape Town area in 2015.

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