Car jammers bust, but cops can't help

2013-10-24 08:56
(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Pietermaritzburg - Police failed to arrest two men who were caught red-handed as they were remote jamming cars, because they had a shortage of vehicles for an entire day.

Instead, the police asked businessman Poobie Naidoo, whose staff had spotted and chased after the two suspects, to “put the men in your car and bring them to the station”.

Naidoo, whose landmark sports shop in Boshoff Street was mentioned as a hotspot for remote jammers, brought last month's incident to the fore after The Witness reported on the increase in remote jamming incidents in the Pietermaritzburg CBD.

Naidoo said he eventually released the two men as he did not want to risk transporting them.


His security guard had noticed the two suspects in operation and alerted the staff, who then chased the two men and eventually found them at the Retief Street Beer Hall.

“It was eight against two and they were marched to our shop. We called the police and then put cable ties around their hands at around 11:00. I eventually locked the men in a strong room while awaiting the police, who claimed they had no vehicle to come to my shop.

“At around 16:00, when we called them, they told me to put the men in my car and bring them to the police station as they still did not have a vehicle. I let the men go after that,” said Naidoo.

He said while Boshoff Street had been targeted by remote jammers, he had not had an incident for the past three months after he installed specialised cameras and screens that focused on the parking lot as well as most of Boshoff Street.

“It’s been completely curbed. I have also banned the use of cellphones and cameras in my shop as some of these men were operating from within the shop. They would be keeping watch in the store as to how long a customer was going to be, so the guy on the outside knew how much time he had to operate outside,” said Naidoo, adding he had implemented the extra security measures to ensure the safety of his customers.

'Drastic increase' in car jamming  

The Witness has been inundated with readers sharing their experiences of having their vehicles remote-jammed and property stolen.

Fundraiser IM Hansa of the Midlands Dawah Centre had items stolen out of his vehicle three times in one month.

Last month, he and Ismail Bobat were collecting money for the centre and had locked R4 000 of donated money in the cubby and locked their vehicle, only to return to find it had been opened.

A few days later in Church Street, his vehicle was jammed and R1 150 cash and cards were stolen.

Then a week later, also in the CBD, a gym bag with contents valued at about R3 000 was stolen from his locked car.

Police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane confirmed that Pietermaritzburg had experienced a “drastic increase in theft out of motor vehicles where jamming devices may have been used”. He did not, however, respond to specific queries on Naidoo’s allegations despite numerous telephone calls and written requests.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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