BMW seller lured to his death
THE hijacking and murder of a Cape Town man has again put the spotlight on the classifieds website Gumtree which has been abused by criminals in the past to lure unsuspecting victims
Olwyn Cowley’’s body was found dumped at Monwabisi Beach in Khayelitsha on Friday with two bullet wounds to his head.
Cowley, 21, went missing on Thursday after he went to meet a potential buyer for his car in Century City.
He had placed an advert on Gumtree to sell his BMW.
Cowley’’s aunt Anita Hanekom said his mother and girlfriend panicked when he did not return home and alerted the police.
“My sister’’s only son wanted to sell his silver BMW and advertised it on Gumtree and he got this guy’’s number. This guy contacted him to set up a meeting and pay some money on the car, so he went to meet the guy and never returned,” said Hanekom.
“His girlfriend had an ID number of the guy that wanted to buy it, police traced it to somebody they knew. They went to the guy’’s house in Mitchells Plain, they found Olwyn’’s ID there and then the guy confessed to shooting Olwyn and where they dumped the body.”
Police spokesman Captain Frederick van Wyk said three men had been arrested and will appear in the Mitchell’s Plain Magistrate’’s Court today on murder, hijacking and kidnapping charges.
Criminals, however, appears to be using Gumtree to target unsuspecting sellers and buyers.
Theunis Strydom, from Johannesburg, lost his gym bicycle to a conman who responded to his Gumtree advert in July.
The man, who’s name Strydom believes is fake, even sent Strydom an SMS confirming that R10,250 had been paid into his account.
“It was quiet an up-market bike, a brand new one costs R30,000, and I wanted to sell it quickly and I put it on for R10,000. I got a response almost immediately,” said Strydom. “It was a guy with a Yahoo email address, he said he wanted to buy it quickly and asked for my banking details so that he can make payments. Then I received an SMS which was a notification that the money had gone in.”
Strydom said he delivered the bicycle to a block of flats in Yeoville.
He said when he realised that the money had not been deposited into his account he phoned the man who promised to sort the matter out with his bank, but never picked up his phone again.
A Cape Town woman, Roz van der Vyver, 38, died after a gang that had posted a fake job advert on Gumtree apparently attacked her in September last year. She was also allegedly gang raped. She was rushed to hospital after she had a seizure.
The advert offered a stock-taker position at Pick n Pay in Observatory. Pick n Pay had no knowledge of the advert.
“People should be aware who they are dealing with. They have to meet them in public spaces such as police stations where they can verify these people,” said Van Wyk.
Gumtree could not reached for comment yesterday.