An alleged car thief was caught red-handed in the east of Pretoria yesterday, following a tip-off by a car guard and a dramatic car chase that ended at Menlyn Park shopping centre.
The guard notified a restaurant in Alphen Park that an unknown man was trying to steal a Ford Ranger bakkie.
The restaurant in turn logged a panic signal with the CSI private security company at 11:45, said police spokesperson Captain Colette Weilbach.
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A CSI reaction unit immediately responded.
“The suspect was spotted as he got into a getaway vehicle that was waiting for him and sped off.”
The reaction team followed in pursuit and called for back-up from Brooklyn police.
Police responded and a high-speed pursuit ended at a parking area at the Menlyn Park shopping centre.
“The suspects jumped from their vehicle and fled further on foot. Together, police and CSI members managed to arrest one of the suspects.”
She said the other man escaped and was still at large.
“The 51-year-old owner of the Ford Ranger bakkie was inside the restaurant at the time of the incident,” said Weilbach.
“He later reported that the door of his bakkie was damaged.”
Brooklyn police station commander Brigadier Kushie Nair commended the teamwork between all parties involved.
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“Through partnerships like these, Brooklyn SAPS will continue to make inroads in vehicle-related crimes.”
“In recent weeks vehicle-related crimes were high in the Brooklyn policing precinct. It only takes about two minutes for a criminal to steal a vehicle.”
Weilbach said motorists were once again requested to park “intelligently”, where there is visible security available.
“It is safer to park inside a yard or at a secure paid for parking area as most vehicles are stolen from pavements.”
“Always keep all windows and doors locked even if the vehicle is parked at home.”
Additionally, install a tracking device to make it more difficult for criminals to get away with the vehicle.
All valuables such as laptops must be removed from parked vehicles.
The 26-year-old suspect from Germiston will appear in court soon for attempted theft of a motor vehicle.
Police are investigating whether he could be linked to other vehicle-related crimes.
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