The Russian news sphere has been abuzz this week with unconfirmed reports that a gang of thrill-seeking killers is on the loose, setting booby traps along poorly lit roads around Moscow before murdering ill-fated motorists.
LifeNews, a Russian news portal with known law enforcement ties, released a sketch of what it claimed to be a suspected gang member on Wednesday, noting that police were currently searching for three men believed to be responsible for the sadistic crimes.
Attackers have reportedly been laying iron spikes out along dark roadways at night. After puncturing their tires, unsuspecting drivers are forced to pull off to the side of the road, at which point they are shot and killed, LifeNews reported.
Tabloid Moskovsky Komsomolets reported that rumors of the first such murder emerged on May 3, but that police have only recently begun to suspect that several attacks on motorists all stem from one group of killers.
Nothing of value has been stolen from the victims, according to news reports, leading investigators to believe the killers are committing the crimes for the mere thrill of it, the report said.
Most of the incidents have reportedly occurred on the M-4 highway outside of Moscow, as well as two of the ring roads surrounding Moscow.
Lifenews reported that the gang has claimed the lives of 14 victims since May, and that three men have survived their attacks. Moskovsky Komsomolets placed the death count at four in its own coverage of the alleged phenomenon.
The latest victim was discovered on Tuesday night along the A-108 road near the village of Fominskoye in the Troitsky administrative district on the outskirts of Moscow. According to a statement released by the local branch of the Investigative Committee, the man had called his friend just moments before his death to say he had to stop the vehicle after getting a flat tire.
An investigation is currently under way into his death, according to the statement, though police have not officially tied all the alleged incidents together.