GQEBERHA - Excellent detective work by the Vehicle Crime Investigation Unit in Gqeberha led to the recovery of a stolen TLB construction grader in George.
It is alleged that on 10 January 2022, the complainant hired out a TLB construction vehicle to a person who instructed that the said vehicle must be delivered to a site in Gwala Street in NU 30 in Motherwell. The suspect sent a false proof of payment of R25 200-00 to the complainant. On the 12 January 2022, the owner of the grader went to the site and realised that the grader was no longer there.
A case of theft of vehicle was opened and investigated by the Vehicle Crime Investigation Unit.
The owner established that the grader was towed to George by a towing company for an amount of R19 975-00. The grader was picked up from Koyana Street in Zwide on 11 January 2022. With the assistance of the owner, police investigations led them to George and Heidelberg in the Western Cape. Several persons who bore knowledge of or had a vested interest in the stolen grader were interviewed. However, at this stage, no one has been arrested. On 27 January 2022 the grader was recovered in George and returned to the owner.
Police suspect that there is a syndicate operating across the Province, stealing construction vehicles. The VCIU investigators are following up on several positive leads and expect to make arrests soon.
Hiring companies are warned to properly screen the lessees and to make sure that the money has been cleared and safely deposited into their respective accounts before handing over the rented vehicle/equipment. Don’t be fooled by a receipt that is sent via WhatsApp as proof of payment. By the time, the owner realises that he/she had been scammed, the vehicle/equipment had already left his control. A suggestion is to inform the client that delivery will be done when funds are cleared. In this particular case, an amount of R120 000-00 was already made to a third party for the sale of the vehicle.
Investigations are continuing.
Source: South African Police Service