Car looted at airport

2019-03-08 14:45
Broken glass inside Pamela Case’s car after it was broken into at the Pietermaritzburg Airport.PHOTOS: pamela caSe

Broken glass inside Pamela Case’s car after it was broken into at the Pietermaritzburg Airport.PHOTOS: pamela caSe

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Thieves stripped and emptied a car of valuables inside the Pietermaritzburg Airport’s long-term parking area — but the airport says it will not be held liable.

Ashburton resident Pamela Case parked her car for R500 at the airport last Wednesday before boarding a flight to OR Tambo International Airport.

When she returned on Sunday evening, it had been broken into and stripped.

“Luckily I had the steering lock on otherwise they would have made off with the car as well,” she said.

“I informed the guards, who said it happened because I had parked on the far end of the parking.”

Case called their supervisor, but to rub salt into the wound, she was told that the outsourced security company and the airport would not be held liable.They pointed to a disclaimer on the parking ticket.

Back at her car, Case found that the keylocks and door handles were damaged, and the rear side window smashed. A radio and CDs were stolen.

But it’s her dealings with the airport and the security company since then that have most riled Case. She phoned the airport this week, looking for answers.

“The fact that they were stripping my car right on the airport premises, and had the time to do so, raises lots of questions,” Case said.

“I’m very upset. I paid for that parking and left my car there under the assumption that it was safe. The airport was full when I got there, and they now tell me that I had parked my car far away from the security guards.

“When I got to the airport that was the only parking I could find. I just don’t think they care. I expected more from them. I don’t care what their disclaimer says.”

Broken glass inside Pamela Case’s car after it was broken into at the Pietermaritzburg Airport.

How was her car broken into without anybody noticing? How did the thief have time to strip the vehicle? How were they not disturbed by a patrolling security guard?

In her conversations with the airport and security officials, Case said she was told there are no CCTV cameras in the parking lot itself — only at the entrances and exits.

“They were very evasive,” she added.

“I wanted an explanation how this happened, but they kept telling me that ‘statistically speaking’ the parkade was very safe and that incidents like these are far more common at shopping centres.”

Pietermaritzburg Airport manager Nonto Mofokeng declined to comment and referred all queries to the outsourced security company.

“They are supposed to have security patrolling the parking as per their agreement with the airport,” Mofokeng said.

Farhaana Mohidien, from Servest Security, said further investigation is being undertaken and the incident has been reported to the SAPS.

“The parking area is monitored; further information relating to patrol times and [staff] complement cannot be disclosed for security reasons,” Mohidien said.

“We are co-operating fully with the authorities to assist them in finalising their investigation. From the outcome of the investigation we will know more about how the incident occurred,” she said.

Read more on:    crime  |  pietermaritzburg  |  pietermaritzburg airport

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