- Four suspected diesel thieves were caught red-handed in Parow early on Monday morning.
- The men were caught while the truck driver was asleep in the vehicle.
- They had siphoned off approximately 125 litres of diesel by the time traffic officers arrived.
Four men have been caught in the act of stealing diesel from a truck parked in Parow.
The men - aged 26, 28, 31 and 39 - were arrested by traffic officers just after 04:00 on Monday morning and taken to the Parow police station.
The City of Cape Town's mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith, said the men were caught stealing diesel while the truck driver was asleep in his vehicle.
He said they had siphoned off approximately 125 litres of diesel by the time traffic officers arrived.
Smith said the officers had recovered a large number of drums and pipes used to extract diesel, and impounded a vehicle used by the suspects, a Toyota Quantum with no number plates.
"While the 'fill up and dash' phenomenon is not new, this type of incident is something else, and was an incredibly opportunistic and dangerous thing to do. Even if the suspects had gotten away, travelling with large amounts of fuel in makeshift containers would have been very risky," Smith warned.
"While it’s difficult to speculate on the motive, it’s likely that the cost of fuel was a factor. Mercifully, the truck driver wasn’t hurt," he added.
In light of this incident, Smith called on the trucking industry, and motorists in general, to be on the alert at all times.
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The four were among more than 200 suspects caught by the City of Cape Town’s enforcement agencies over the past week.
Cape Town Traffic Services arrested 110 motorists – 94 for driving under the influence of alcohol and 16 for reckless and negligent driving.
A total of 67 047 traffic violations were recorded and officers also impounded 159 public transport vehicles and executed 1 637 warrants of arrest.