Traffic jam easy meat for Fleet Street thieves

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An East London resident got the shock of his life yesterday when two men grabbed his cellphone in his car while he was waiting at traffic lights in Fleet Street.

Greenfields resident Gary Fleming, 55, blames roadworks on the busy route.

DANGER ZONE: Backed-up traffic in Fleet Street has seen at least one driver’s cellphone stolen Picture: SIBONGILE NGALWA

The metro is still working on the Fleet Street project, which started a few years ago.

The project includes Pontoon Road to Oxford Street, Oxford to Station streets, Station Street to Ganteaume Crescent, Ganteaume Crescent to Currie Street and Currie to Fitzpatrick Road.

Motorists currently use one lane and traffic is always backed up.

Fleming said the two men attacked him as he looked at his cellphone.

“Traffic is an absolute nightmare on Fleet Street, and while sitting in my car I had my window rolled down a little.

“I got a message on my phone and usually I don’t check it when I am driving but as I took out my phone, this guy came out of nowhere and started banging loudly on my left side window.

“I got such a fright because I was distracted by my phone and then suddenly I just felt a blow to my face and another man grabbed my cellphone and the two of them ran off,” Fleming said.

He said he was taken by surprise and that the criminals must have been watching him and noticed he was distracted.

“I am sure that they must have been chasing cars and watching motorists to see who they could target because you have nowhere to go on that stretch of road.”

In a media statement released yesterday, BCM urged motorists to be patient and to explore alternative routes as the metro is intensifying roadworks in Fleet Street and other areas of the city.

The R128-million Fleet Street upgrade includes the relocation of sewer lines, water pipes and electrical services.

Fleming added no one in the vicinity helped him during his ordeal.

He said he had not opened a case with the police.

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