'I was just doing my job' - cop who found stolen car 22 years later

2015-08-05 21:14
Derrick Goosen's stolen Toyota is towed back to Pretoria after being recovered in Limpopo. (Supplied to News24)

Derrick Goosen's stolen Toyota is towed back to Pretoria after being recovered in Limpopo. (Supplied to News24)

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Polokwane - "I was just doing my job."

That's how Warrant Officer Kwakwa Ntokola from the Seshego Vehicle tracking unit in Limpopo described his recovery of a car that was stolen 22 years ago.

The car, which was stolen in February 1993 in Wonderboom South, was recently returned to its owner.

Brushing off praise, Ntokola said: "It's my daily job to recover cars and call clients to collect their vehicles. It was not a big thing for me until the client... called the media. It was my daily routine."

The "client" is Centurion man, Derrick Goosen, who has since been reunited with his 1988 Toyota Corolla 1.6 GL.

Ntokola, who has been a police officer for 25 years, said the car was recovered following an operation where it was found tampered with. The chassis and engine numbers had been scraped off.

"We took the car to the pound where we started working on it. We then found the original number and contacted the owner to identify the car.

"It took us seven months to identify the car and by the eighth month, we contacted the owner," he said.

Derrick Goosen's stolen Toyota is towed back to Pretoria. (Supplied to News24)

Goosen was full of praise for Ntokola. He said, despite certain individuals within the SA Police Service not taking their work seriously, "here was an exemplary individual".

The dedicated officer downplayed the recognition and said he lived to please through his diligent work.

"It’s good to get compliments. It's [also an example to] other police officers to work hard. It is good when the client is satisfied," he said.

Ntokola added that he was motivated by a desire to bring down vehicle-related crimes.

He said when the car was found, it had been "owned" by a metro police officer who apparently had papers for the vehicle.

He said police would continue to investigate.

"The investigation will go on. We will follow the case until we uncover who the real thief is," he said.

Goosen first got behind the wheel of the car in February 1993, but it was short-lived when it was stolen in October that year. He rushed to the Moot police station to report his car stolen.

With no insurance for the car, his only hope was for the car to be recovered. Days turned into months, months into years, and years into decades, with no sign of the car.

Goosen said he received the call three weeks ago that his car had been recovered more than two decades later.

Derrick Goosen's stolen Toyota. (Supplied to News24)

Read more on:    polokwane  |  crime

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