Cops swoop on ‘chop shop’

2015-01-08 00:00

POLICE and car tracking officials swooped on an auto parts dealership in New Germany yesterday — following the faint signal of a car stolen in Johannesburg.

In December a plush Mercedes was stolen in Johannesburg and stripped of its primary tracking unit.

However, a secondary tracker — which was hidden within the German sedan’s electronics system — continued to emit a signal.

Yesterday officers and trackers descended on MBC Parts, an outlet that supplies new and used spares for Mercedes.

According to a police source close to the investigation, who could not be named, the stolen car had been stripped for parts and various components of the luxury car were scattered around the warehouse.

“The first tracker that was fitted had been found by whoever had stolen the car and was removed. They obviously had no idea that there was a second tracking unit, which eventually led us right to the chop shop in the industrial park,” he said.

“We searched the entire place and the owner was able to quickly point out all the components that came from the stolen car. I think he just wanted us out of there as soon as possible.”

The source added that the car had been driven to Durban and sold on to the parts dealer, and that these circumstances would form part of their investigation.

“The owner of the shop said that he had bought the car for R70 000 from one of his clients who had brought it to Durban. The shop owner then gave the client a lift to the airport and he jetted back to Johannesburg. This will all have to be probed,” he said.

Police vehicles entered and exited the office block at which the dealership is situated.

When The Witness visited the dealership yesterday, police officers stood guard outside the entrance and refused entry to anyone who tried to go inside.

At the time, police said that it had been a misunderstanding and that they were speaking to a man on the premises, who they referred to as “the owner”.

Attempts speak to the man were denied by police and staff on the premises, and later by staff over the telephone.

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