The stolen Uno was still in its original condition when recovered. Photo: Lizzy Bapela

Stolen vehicles recovered


Lizzy Bapela   l   Views: 158

The Bela-Bela police commended their detectives’ team led by Sergeant Frans Sekgobela and the Modimolle VIS (Vehicle Investigation Service) for cracking a case involving stolen vehicles.

Two cars were stolen in the Bela-Bela township in April and May, and the team has been on the suspects’ trail since, following leads on their whereabouts. The vehicles were later recovered and confiscated, with three suspects being captured following thorough investigations.

Sekgobela was the main member reported to have gathered most of the information in the case and he, together with his team, managed to recover the vehicles, a green Uno in Stinkwater and a turquoise Toyota Corolla in Maubane throughout the night of Thursday, 1 June. The team then arrested one suspect in Hammanskraal on the early hours of Friday, 2 June. The VIS team also arrested the other two suspects at the same place and on the same day. 

All the suspects appeared before the Bela-Bela Magistrate’s Court on Monday, 5 June on a charge of motor vehicle. The police promised to release their court outcomes shortly, together with their identities and ages. Detectives’ Commander Lieutenant-Colonel Abel Phetla confirmed that among the three suspects, one is reported to be a car mechanic, the other the driver who sped off with the cars on the day they were stolen, and the other a passenger. He said two of the suspects turned state’s witness and only one is facing the charges on the stolen vehicles.  

It is rumoured that the suspects were using the Uno, which is believed to be why it was untouched when recovered. It is also believed that the Corolla was scrapped because one of the suspects drives a Toyota Tazz and needed the parts to fix it since it is damaged.

Hammanskraal police officials came to the Bela-Bela police station after the suspects were arrested and apparently recognised them since then.

Meanwhile, the owner of the Corolla, who wished to remain anonymous, expressed heartbreak and shock on arrival at the police station as he was called in to identify the vehicle. He pleaded with The BEAT not to reveal his identity or publish the photo of the vehicle in the paper as this will bring back bad memories.

“It really hurts me seeing my car like this, as if it was nothing. What the criminals did is cruel and will be hard to forget. Seeing the photo in the newspaper will be a constant reminder of what I lost,” said the owner.

His father, who also came to the station to witness the ordeal, highlighted that he comes a long way with the car and has achieved a lot of things using it including building his house and business.

12 months ago       08 June 2017