'Conman' makes brazen escape from PE court

A Cape Town man is on the run after his Houdini-like disappearance minutes before he was to appear before a magistrate.

Mark Michaels‚ 30‚ is accused of defrauding a Port Elizabeth car owner and two hotels over four days.

The alleged con artist simply left the dock and brazenly walked out of the North End court unchallenged.

Michaels‚ from Rondebosch in Cape Town‚ allegedly defrauded the owner of a VW Golf‚ who was selling it for R350‚000‚ as well as bilking two beachfront hotels after running up bills totalling R35‚000.

Michaels was held in custody after his arrest on Friday‚ but escaped from the dock at the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court‚ where he was due to face three counts of fraud‚ later the same day.

In the first instance‚ Michaels had booked himself in at the Boardwalk Hotel on February 27.

Police spokeswoman Colonel Priscilla Naidu said Michaels had wanted two rooms and two presidential suites for three nights‚ at a cost of R28‚000.

He claimed to have paid via an electronic funds transfer (EFT).

Full story in The Herald



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