Six years for stealing spare wheel

2018-10-30 06:00
Congratulating the investigating team, from left, are Sergeant Nkululeko Mnyaka, Rafique Foflonker, Detective Constable Mzwanele Emanuel Mbali and Captain Gavin Sias. PHOTO: AISHAH CASSIEM

Congratulating the investigating team, from left, are Sergeant Nkululeko Mnyaka, Rafique Foflonker, Detective Constable Mzwanele Emanuel Mbali and Captain Gavin Sias. PHOTO: AISHAH CASSIEM

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Two men who thought it was alright to steal a spare wheel from a car parked in Rondebosch East earlier this year are currently facing the start of a six-year jail sentence­.

Ashley Samson (37) from Lansdowne and Randall Koopman (26) from Hanover Park, who committed the crime in April, heard the verdict at Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Thursday 11 October.

Both Samson and Koopman were sentenced to six years’ direct imprisonment and are currently serving their time at Pollsmoor Prison.

Sergeant Nkululeko Mnyaka, spokesperson for Lansdowne Police Station, explains the duo removed a spare wheel from underneath a car, while it was parked on Imam Haroon Road.

“This incident took place at night. A case was opened by the complainant and fortunately video footage we received, which [looks onto] the street, captured the incident. It was thereafter viewed by crime prevention members who recognised the suspects. The two were hunted down and were brought to book,” he explains.

Captain Gavin Sias says the video footage in the case was retrieved from a very helpful business owner in the street, who assisted in finding the suspects.

“The incident occurred just opposite The Venue. The suspects involved in this crime are believed to have been arrested previously, and had warrants that have been executed for similar crimes.

“They received light sentences for their crimes in previous years, which would only be a few months’ jail sentence, and because of this, they received a lengthy jail time this time around,” says Sias.

Detective Constable Mzwanele Emanuel Mbali, who investigated the case, says the suspects were kept in police custody from April until earlier this month when they received their sentence.

“We only managed to locate them (suspects) two weeks after the incident due to certain circumstances.

“There were apparently three suspects involved in this case. The one is still on the run, and the two suspects arrested do not want to give any information on their whereabouts.

“The suspect at large in this case was driving the car they used when committing the crime on the day. The car in use was identified as a white Avanza, as in many other crime cases,” he explains.

Meanwhile Mnyaka says stealing from and breaking into cars has raised a lot of concern in the precinct.

“For the past two months, from August to September, and even up to today, the system showed that over 50 incidents of car break-ins were reported.

“These incidents occurred while vehicles were parked in the driveway and on the street during the night, in most cases­.”

“We urge residents to help us with video footage that could help [capture] criminals in the area who are committing similar crimes, and to position their cameras in a way that will capture criminal activity on both their premises and in their streets.”

Rafique Foflonker, chairperson of Lansdowne CPF, adds: “We are extremely happy about the arrest and congratulate the detectives on this case. We are very pleased with the outcome.

“We also want to remind residents in Lansdowne to secure their homes and cars, especially with holiday season coming up. This is a very busy period for criminals to commit their crimes.”

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