Drive-by robbers targeting tourists caught on cameraBy: ADAM HARTMAN
A GANG of ‘drive-by’ robbers, who allegedly have targeted tourists between Swakopmund and Walvis Bay on several occasions, were caught on camera after breaking into a vehicle at a parking area at a dune about ten kilometres out of Swakopmund on Saturday .
A German couple parked their vehicle before climbing a dune on Saturday afternoon. No other vehicle was parked there.
They were about 100 metres from their vehicle when a white Toyota double-cab bakkie approached their car and stopped next to it.
A person got out of the Toyota, smashed the tourists’ car window and stole a bag from the car before speeding off towards Swakopmund.
There were allegedly at least two other people in the suspect’s car.
The couple saw what happened but were too far away to make it back to their vehicle to stop the suspects, so they took a photo. The registration number of the suspect’s vehicle is N4548OT.
Soon after the incident, the couple went to the Swakopmund police station to open a case, where they presented the photo as evidence. The Swakopmund police officers allegedly refused to open a case and denied them assistance, allegedly saying that the Walvis Bay police should be in charge of the matter.
“I think this not only serves as a very sad and disturbing example for how visitors to our town are being treated, but also shows how crime issues remain unattended and simply ignored by the authorities,” said Alex Schmitt of the accommodation establishment where the tourists had stayed since last Friday.
According to Schmitt, the bag contained credit cards and about 60 Euros. He said the tourists left Swakopmund on Sunday for another destination in Namibia.
After being approached for comment, Schmitt told The Namibian that when he spoke to the police in Swakopmund yesterday, he was told that the registration number apparently matched that of a vehicle the police were looking for that had allegedly been involved in four or five similar attacks on tourists at the coast.
Police Inspector George Xoagub, who is acting as regional crime investigation coordinator, said he was unaware of the incident and would have to investigate the matter before commenting. He did say that the police were aware of a group of suspects targeting tourists, but was not willing to say whether this incident was similar to previous cases.