Police in Limpopo recovered a stolen Toyota Spacio vehicle, with Mozambican number plates.
The car was recovered before the owner reported it as stolen.
Spokesperson for the SA Police Service in Limpopo, Brigadier Hlulani Mashaba said police in Northam, under the Waterberg District, nabbed a suspect for possession of a suspected stolen motor vehicle in the early hours of Wednesday.
“It is reported that the police were busy conducting stop and search operation when they stopped a white Toyota Spacio motor vehicle with Mozambique registration number,” said Mashaba.
“One male was found driving the motor vehicle and was asked to produce a driver's licence but failed to produce it.”
“Police noticed that the ignition and dashboard of the motor vehicle were tampered with, and requested the authentic documents of ownership. The suspect told the police that he does not have the ownership documents of the motor vehicle because it belonged to his uncle,” said Mashaba.
During the interrogation, police discovered that the suspect was “panicking”.
He allegedly failed to provide satisfactory responses about the origins of the motor vehicle.
“The suspect was immediately placed under arrest on the spot for possession of suspected stolen motor vehicle,” said Mashaba.
The following day, at around 5am, a Mozambican man arrived at Northam police station and reported the theft of his motor vehicle.
“The victim revealed the description and registration number of the motor vehicle that positively matched the one that was found in possession of the suspect during his apprehension,” said Mashaba.
“The motor vehicle was later handed back to the lawful owner who appreciated good policing displayed by the police in recovering the motor vehicle before being reported at the police station.”
The arrested man, whose age is still to be determined, is set to appear before the Northam Magistrate’s Court, facing charges of possession of a stolen motor vehicle.
Last month, the regional court in Mokopane, in Limpopo, convicted and sentenced a 35-year-old man who was arrested for possession of a stolen motor vehicle, a silver Toyota Fortuner, to six years in jail.
At the time, Mashaba said South African national Shane Mthombeni was sentenced to six years of direct imprisonment, without the option to pay a fine.
“The court heard that the South African citizen, Shane Mthombeni was intercepted by police while driving a silver motor vehicle, a Toyota Fortuner at Nyl Toll Plaza along the N1 Highway on Monday, October 30,” Mashaba said.
Members of the Limpopo police’s provincial tracking team, in conjunction with a private security company operationalised information which had been gathered, and arrested the driver.
“The team, at the time, had reliable information which made them to have reason to believe that the vehicle would be driving from Gauteng province, along the N1 highway to Beitbridge port of entry to be smuggled to Zimbabwe,” said Mashaba.