Alleged thieves caught with tools of trade
THREE alleged members of a notorious hijacking syndicate were arrested last week with tools commonly used to steal vehicles, including computer boxes, Allen keys, plugs and ignitions.
The arrests came in the wake of two botched hijackings which claimed the lives of 9-year-old Sadia Sukhraj and Avoca father Kelly Chetty last week.
The suspects Khehla Mlangeni, 25, Nduduzo Ntuli, 31, and Vumani Hlengwa, 32, appeared in the emanzimtoti Magistrate’s Court on Monday and were remanded into custody until tomorrow.
Police spokesperson Lieutenant-colonel Zwane said the suspects were arrested after the police received a complaint of a suspicious-looking Toyota Etios driving on Kingsway Road.
“On arrival, members noticed three men inside the vehicle and intercepted it. The suspects attempted to flee, drove at a high
SNYMAN – Norma Lillian passed away peacefully on Saturday, June 9.
She was a beloved mom, gran and sister and will be sadly missed by her family and many friends. Fly with the angels and rest in peace, dearest Norma. speed and hit a Ford Bantam. They lost control of the vehicle and struck a robot pole, abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot. Police gave chase and apprehended them,” said Zwane.
He said the Etios was seized as an exhibit.
A police source who deals with hijacking cases said criminals were becoming much smarter and were keeping up with the times, in terms of technology.
“Most new vehicles do not have ignitions, they have computer boxes. This means that you do not need a key to start these cars but rather just have to press a button because they are computer-operated,” the source said.
He said hijackers were using electronic computer boxes to override the vehicle’s system and gain access to the cars they steal.
“They disable the car’s existing system and then use their computer boxes to start the vehicle by overriding the original system,” said the police source. also
However, Zwane said police were duty-bound not to discuss in detail the modus operandi of criminals in public spaces as it educates potential criminals who may use this information.
Metro police spokesperson Parboo Sewpersad said they worked hand-in-hand with the SAPS to execute the arrests related to vehicle theft and hijacking. He said recently the South Durban area, and particularly umlazi, had become a hub for hijackers.
“It is becoming difficult to curb the problem in this area because we are noticing a trend where some residents are supportive of the hijackers.
“Panel beaters or chop shops in the area are getting business from the hijackers and are working with them.”
He said the most common vehicles hijacked or stolen and recovered included Toyota Etios and Fortuner models, the Ford Ranger, Toyota professional trucks and the Kia 100 light delivery trucks. “Some of these vehicles are taken across the border.”
Statistics for the last three months showed that 102 vehicles were hijacked with a total value of R22.5 million. Fourteen suspects had been arrested.
Some of the gear seized from alleged hijackers.