Stolen and hijacked vehicles seized

POLICE recovered more than R3-million worth of stolen and hijacked vehicles during special operations carried out between 24 June and 7 July.

Officers from the Vehicle Crime Investigation Unit embarked on a project to trace and recover stolen and hijacked vehicles. According to Lt Col Thulani Zwane from provincial SAPS, the operation resulted in the recovery of 45 stolen and hijacked vehicles. The value of vehicles recovered is estimated to be about R3.5 million. One suspect was arrested during the operation and more arrests are expected as the investigation progresses. The operation was conducted jointly by various police units together with the Insurance Crime Bureau.

“During the operation police identified several vehicles that had been altered or had their identification numbers changed and were reintroduced into the eNatis System by vehicle crime syndicates. These vehicles were then sold to the community. The community is urged to be cautious when buying vehicles from private sellers who advertise on various media platforms. We also wish to make the public aware that the SAPS does not charge members of the public for the storage of their vehicles in our vehicle safeguarding facilities,” he said.

KwaZulu-Natal acting provincial commissioner, Major General Bheki Langa commended the units involved in the recovery of the vehicles. “We wish to warn syndicates that these operations are going to be conducted more regularly. The community is also warned not to collude with criminals by buying vehicles that have been cloned as it is only a matter of time before the long arm of the law catches up with you,” he said.

He said while there might be cases where cloned vehicles are sold to the unsuspecting public, the police are also aware that in many cases the public is aware of these dodgy practices and collude with criminals to buy vehicles for a fraction of their value.

“This contributes to our high rate of stolen and hijacked vehicles as well as the despair it brings to victims of crime. This vicious cycle needs to be brought to an end and we appeal to those who have information of these practices to contact Crime Stop,” he added. Contact Crime Stop on 08600 10111.

Lauren Walford

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