Jammer gang targets N3

2013-10-25 00:00

CRIMINALS with remote jammers are now also targeting motorists travelling on the N3.

There have been reports that people are being targeted at service stations all along the N3 between Durban and Van Reenen’s Pass.

The Witness recently reported that criminals are using remote controls to jam car locking mechanisms. If the owner is not looking and does not realise the car has not locked, they will move in and take their loot.

The latest victim is Dr Caroline Henderson from Johannesburg who was robbed of a laptop worth thousands of rands last Sunday.

“There is no other explanation for the disappearance of the one bag containing valuables in my car at the Ultra City Estcourt on the N3.

“I saw a bunch of guys drinking coffee around a car and watching me as I got out my car, so made sure I pressed the remote to lock, but certainly never thought about this particular technique,” said Henderson.

When she returned the men had disappeared, but she thought they were travellers like her.

She lost a MacBook Air. “It has a password and Find My iPhone on it. So far Find My iPhone reports that the laptop is not connected to the Internet, so it can’t be located by that means,” she said.

She added that she believes that the Pietermaritzburg gangs have extended their territory to the N3, where there are many potential victims.

“I was a woman travelling alone in an SUV and that is a perfect place for this crime as you will not notice that anything is missing from your car until you get home.”

She said she only reported the theft when she was back in Johannesburg. “I reported it to Linden police station and they have transferred the docket to Estcourt, where a case has been opened,” said Henderson.

Veronica du Plessis, an administration clerk at Cato Ridge Engen 1 Stop, told The Witness that they have received complaints from customers who have lost goods from their cars while parked there.

“We help them with CCTV footage if the car was parked where our cameras would pick it up. But the police are not helpful in investigating these cases.

“On Tuesday we had a complaint from a customer who was a victim of this. Everyone should be aware of these things and lock their cars safely,” said Du Plessis.

Estcourt community policing forum chairperson Mandla Shandu said they had not received complaints about car remote jamming in the town.

“This could be new to the Estcourt area as criminals are moving around. The drivers may not be reporting these cases to the police for some reason. Sometimes drivers won’t realise that their goods have been stolen and only get to see this when they are at their home.”

The manager at the Shell Ultra City refused to give his name or to comment about the crime.

Police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane confirmed that they are investigating a case of theft out of a motor vehicle at Estcourt Ultra City.

“No arrest has been made at this stage. We urge [people] to physically check if their vehicles are really locked before leaving,” said Zwane.

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