Meet the ‘Tiger’ who hunts down stolen and hijacked vehicles

2011-10-20 11:36

Over the past 15 years, more than 55 000 vehicles stolen or hijacked on South African roads have been recovered, resulting in more than 10 000 arrests.

This is thanks to people such as Warrant Officer Ganas Ramsamy of the Montclair Crime Prevention Unit in Durban, who has been declared the 2011 winner of the National Tracker Award.

In the past year, Ramsamy (47) single-handedly recovered more than 170 vehicles fitted with tracker units, effected 40 arrests and recovered firearms in the process.

In the same period, he recovered 25 other vehicles without tracking devices, as well as large quantities of other stolen goods recovered during these operations.

“There is actually no greater feeling than handing over a stolen vehicle to its rightful owner. People today are struggling. What they go through as a result of losing a vehicle is sad,” Ramsamy said.

“It is either they don’t have insurance or if they do, they have to pay in general an excess fees of R5 000. And nobody has that kind of money.”

Ramsamy goes by the alias “Tiger”, a name he earned while starting out in the police force 28 years ago.

“As a student in the police, if I had to arrest someone, there was usually very little chance that I wouldn’t catch up with the suspects. It was almost certain that I would make an arrest,” he adds proudly.

According to his colleagues, Ramsamy has a large informer network and many of the vehicles recovered are as a result of his intelligence alone.

“His commitment and dedication is beyond reproach, and he serves as an inspiration to other members,” said Colonel Jay Naicker, police spokesperson in the province.

Ramsamy attributed his success to his good working relationship with the community.

“I have certainly earned myself a lot of friends. People want to bring me cake. Others offer to take me out to lunch. As a result of winning the award and my story being published, I have received calls non-stop from people asking me to help them find their cars,” said Ramsamy.

While he has had to pass on all these offers, in line with the policy framework he is governed by, this “human” tracker can look forward to a fully paid international trip to attend a training seminar in Kansas City.

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