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Thursday, March 31, 2016

SA vehicle theif

I would appreciate it if you could warn readers/ travelers of the unfortunate incident that happened to me while in South Africa.

My wife and I crossed into South Africa at Beit Bridge on Wednesday 9th March 2016. At the SA Customs the officer on duty requested our destination details and I advised that they are recorded on the Temporary Import Permit Form (TIP) but he demanded to know more than usual like "confirm exactly where you are staying" in Johannesburg. I gave him the full address which was the Town Lodge in Herman Street Isando.

On Friday morning at 7.06 am while the Lodge was very busy with people coming and going my Toyota Prado was stolen from the carpark in front of the Lodge. A distance of some eight metres from the front steps. The vehicle is fully alarmed with de-mobiliser, anti-hijack etc. Security at the Lodge is well organized when entering and leaving. Once booked into the Lodge, a room swipe card is used to activate the electric gate.

Later while viewing the Lodge’s CCTV apparently two vehicles, a blue BMW with two occupants and a white Corolla with four occupants entered the carpark on Thursday morning at 7.00am with one of the occupants entering the reception area but acting very suspiciously sitting down, getting up and moving around the reception area. Meanwhile the BMW managed to park one bay away from my vehicle with the Corolla nearby.

Friday morning was a repeat of the above when my vehicle was stolen with a European behind the wheel backed up with the BMW and Corolla with four Africans. According to SAPS, the thieves wanted that particular vehicle and were probably heavy armed. SAPS also confirmed that the anti-hijack and alarm system can be down loaded if two vehicles are parked next to each other as the thieves have the equipment to do this.

It is obvious that the thieves were well advised as to where I was staying when one considers the early morning times and I believe the customs officer is on the lookout for certain types of vehicles crossing into SA and must work for a syndicate as upmarket vehicles from Zimbabwe are in demand. One needs to have a "tracker" installed on their vehicles when travelling to SA.


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