A Maitland man says he just wants clarity from the local police about the whereabouts of his stolen vehicle. He believes his vehicle was stolen from the vehicle impoundment centre.
Adnaan Taliep explains that his Nissan Sabre hatchback was stolen from his driveway in January 2015.
Taliep says he immediately reported his vehicle stolen at the Maitland police station.
“I had the car for nearly 20 years. It was brand-new when I bought it. People always used to comment about the good condition the vehicle was in even after so many years. So, you can imagine how terribly upset I was when it was stolen.”
He says he started making peace with the fact that the vehicle will never be found until September last year.
On Thursday 17 September, Taliep received an SMS from the police with his case number and vehicle registration number informing him that his vehicle has been recovered.
Taliep says he rushed to Maitland police station the following day and police confirmed that the text message was indeed legitimate. “I was so happy. I didn’t even care in what condition the vehicle would be. I just wanted my car back,” says Taliep.
At the station he says he spoke to a detective who confirmed the legitimacy of the text and gave him a release form (to get the car). He had to sign the form. “When they phoned the pound the car was not there. It was totally missing.”
According to Taliep he left the station and then never heard from the police again.
“I went back there after two weeks and then I started getting the run-around from police,” Taliep says.
“First I was told that the officer working on my case is not in. When I went there again an officer told me that the SMS was a scam and that people send these text messages in order to get money. I was angry because that SMS was not a scam. She even told me so the first time.”
A frustrated Taliep says he is disappointed in the police and only want them to tell him what really went wrong.
After initially confirming to People’s Post that the vehicle was indeed recovered, Const Sandiswa Belinda Saula, Maitland police communication officer, said there was an error from their Vanderbijlpark counterparts.
When first asked to comment on the matter, Saula said: “The text message is not a scam, it is legitimate. According to the system it is possibly recovered.”
Responding to claims of miscommunication with Taliep, Saula says: “He was given a clear explanation by the investigating officer and the commander because calls were made in his presence and the matter was taken up to find the whereabouts of his vehicle.”
Saula confirmed that “the vehicle was recovered in Vanderbijlpark on Monday 14 September last year”.
In a dramatic turn of events, on Friday 22 January in an email to People’s Post, Saula said: “Vanderbijlpark police have confirmed that they made an error with digits when circulating a vehicle, that led to the system showing the vehicle on Maitland cas 33/01/2015 possibly recovered hence the text message was sent to the complainant by the system. The vehicle is still not recovered. The error has been fixed.”
Taliep claims no knowledge of the latest developments.
“The last I spoke to them was is in October (last year) when I went back and forth to the Maitland police station and they never had the decency and time to phone me.
“I believe they are lying and covering their tracks in order not to be exposed. My car was found by the police and was taken to the pound and was stolen again.”