Stolen vehicles worth R3, 5 million recovered in Durban

Police officers from the Vehicle Crime Investigation Unit received the highest praise from officials after they recovered 45 stolen and hijacked vehicles, worth an estimated R3, 5 million in Durban, recently.

The operation began on June 24, 2017 and officially concluded on July 7, 2017. In addition to the recoveries, one suspect was also arrested and police are confident that more arrests will be made as investigations continue. Provincial police spokesman, Lt Col Thulani Zwane said that the operation was conducted jointly by various police units together with the Insurance Crime Bureau.

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“During the operation, police identified several vehicles were altered or had their identification numbers changed and were reintroduced into the eNatis System by vehicle crime syndicates. These vehicles were then sold to members of the community,” he explained.

According to Lt Col Zwane, residents are sensitised 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 added.

Following the successful operation, KZN’s acting provincial commissioner, Maj Gen Bheki Langa commended the units involved in recovering the vehicles.

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“We wish to warn syndicates that these operations are going to be conducted more regularly. Members of the community are 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,” Maj Gen Langa said.

“While there might be cases where these cloned vehicles are sold to unsuspecting members of the community, we are also aware that in many cases members of the public are 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 hijacking 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 on 08600-10111,” he concluded.

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Elaine Naidoo
Digital editor

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