Bedfordview resident Darryl Williams became a victim of a car-impounding scam that left him R1 500 short after trying to retrieve a stolen vehicle.
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Williams’ father-in-law’s vehicle was stolen from Makro in Germiston on June 30.
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Two officers from Bedfordview SAPS arrived on the scene to take a statement and Williams gave them his contact details because his father-in-law’s cellphone, driver’s licence and ID were inside the vehicle when it was stolen.
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“I then received a phone call from a Capt Kruger from the VIS (Vehicle Investigation Services) unit saying that they had recovered the vehicle in a roadblock in Komatipoort on August 3. Capt Kruger said they had arrested two guys in connection with the theft of my father-in-law’s vehicle,” said Williams.
The so-called police captain told Williams that the vehicle would be impounded in Komatipoort.
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“He warned that the vehicle would be stripped and would not be in great shape once I got it back. Capt Kruger suggested that I place the vehicle on a flatbed back to Bedfordview,” Williams told the NEWS.
Williams was told it would cost R1 500.
“The cost was fine, but it was Friday afternoon and I needed to make a payment. The solution was to eWallet the amount to his phone, which I then did,” said Williams.
After sending the money, Williams got a call from a Capt Nkosi who said that he worked at the Bedfordview SAPS accounts department.
Nkosi said it would take four hours for the car to arrive in Bedfordview and that he would meet Williams at the station at 8pm.
The time frame in which Williams was corresponding with Kruger and Nkosi was from 3pm to 4pm on the same day.
Williams said that no car arrived in Bedfordview and his money had been taken.
“You don’t have time to really verify everything when a car has been recovered so quickly. I genuinely believed I was being helped, only to have it turned around on me,” said Williams.
Williams opened a case of fraud at Bedfordview SAPS on August 4.
At the station they told Williams that a Capt Nkosi does work for the SAPS but does not deal with accounts or the impounding of cars.
Williams said that a Capt Kruger does exist at the VIS unit, but he knows nothing about the case.
The vehicle has still not been found, but some of Williams’ father-in-law’s belongings that were in the vehicle were found close to Alrode in Alberton.
“I just don’t understand how my information got to these criminals after the theft report that was given to Bedfordview SAPS,” said Williams.
Spokesperson for Bedfordview SAPS, Capt Andre De Jager, said that there are many different types of scams that are reported to the station.
De Jager confirmed that a Capt Nkosi works at the station, but that he works shifts and has no recollection of this case.
He said that if a stolen vehicle is found it will be verified with the investigating officer and the officer will contact the complainant.
The officer will go to the pound to verify the vehicle with his docket, and if it is verified it will be taken off circulation at the VIS unit.
De Jager said that personal information at the station is treated as such. No information is given out to anyone.
“We do not submit or give out any personal information,” said De Jager.
He said that all information is treated as a personal docket.
De Jager said that nobody should pay anything once the vehicle has been recovered.
He said that the police do not work with eWallet.
“You need to verify everything with your investigating officer before making any payments or giving out information. Residents should not be gullible. If you are uncertain, you should contact your investigating officer,’ said De Jager.
De Jager said that the vehicle has not been found and that investigations continue.