Swindlers take on dealerships

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

Police in Newcastle, northern KwaZulu-Natal, have issued a strong warning to car dealerships not to allow strangers to test-drive their new motor vehicles.

This after a local Toyota dealership was robbed of a vehicle as a "client" took it for a test-drive. Captain Shooz Magudulela said the suspect came to the local dealership under the pretext of wanting to buy a new car.

"He asked the dealership to release the car for a test-drive. It's alleged that the victim from the dealership was in the vehicle with the suspect, who pulled out a firearm and forced him out of the vehicle at Utrecht Road," he said.

Magudulela said the suspect drove away with a brand-new metallic blue Toyota Corolla. He urged local dealerships to take the prospective buyers' IDs before allowing them to test-drive their vehicles.

The town has suffered numerous incidents of car thefts in the past few months. It's alleged that private cars are being used as taxis at local townships and neighbouring towns like Paulpetersburg. Some of the cars are even taken across the borders to neighbouring countries.

Magudulela said police are working hard to fight car thefts in the town.

"Car thefts have dropped. Police are working hard to fight this kind of crime," he said.

He urged members of the community to come forward with information that can help police solve cases of stolen cars.

The investigation is continuing.