DURBAN – Police crack vehicle theft syndicate

DURBAN – Yesterday at 07:30, a joint operation comprising of police officers from Vehicle Crime Investigation Unit (VCIU) and Metro police was conducted at the Durban beachfront.

Whilst a police officer from the Metro Police were busy conducting patrols on the Durban beachfront, they spotted a vehicle with four male occupants. The said vehicle was stopped and a search was conducted. Upon searching the vehicle, police found various car breaking implements and a number of vehicle computer boxes. The suspects’ vehicle was examined and it was established that the engine had been tampered with. Further investigation was conducted by the Vehicle Crime Investigation Unit (VCIU) which police to a house in Klaarwater. Upon arrival at the scene, a 45-year-old male was found busy grinding and re-stamping a vehicle. It is alleged that the vehicle was stolen this month in the Hillcrest area.

A further two suspects were arrested at the crime scene while trying to flee. A further search was conducted at the premises and nine more vehicles were recovered and one of the vehicles was stolen at Durban Central this month. The other eight vehicles engines were tampered with. A hand grenade was found inside the house hidden in a laundry basket, as well as two pairs of police uniform, registration documents, certificates, angle grinders, grills, two stamping pencils, number plates, special electric equipment used to grind vehicle engine numbers, foreign currency notes and extension cables.

A total of 38 rounds of ammunition hidden under the mattress as well as cash of R260,000-00 was seized by the police. Seven suspects aged between 30 and 45 were placed under arrest for charges of possession of explosives, possession of a stolen property, possession of car breaking implements as well as possession of ammunition. The suspects will appear in court this week.

The KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Khombinkosi Jula congratulated all involved in the recovery of vehicles and the arrest of the suspects. “This is a significant breakthrough for the province and bodes well towards our fight against those who steal as well as those who buy these stolen cars,” he said.