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Car thief strikes in 30 seconds

Durban - A Durban car thief has left the movie Gone In 60 Seconds in his dust by stealing a car in less than 30 seconds.

The theft in Umbilo, caught on CCTV footage and posted on a community crime safety forum, shows a car thief stealing a car on a busy Umbilo Road within seconds.

Captured by a camera on a nearby building, the car thief is seen sauntering over to the car from a white vehicle driven by an accomplice.

It takes him less than five seconds to open the door and get inside. In less than 30 seconds, the car moves backward, seemingly having been hot-wired to start.

Jo-Anne Horn, a business owner whose employee’s car was stolen, said they were amazed at the speed of the theft when they saw the footage.

The car, a 1997 Hyundai Accent, belonged to one of her employees, a man in his 70s.

“He parks pretty much in the same place every day so when he went out for a smoke and noticed his car was missing, he rushed back to the office to tell us,” said Horn.

She said no-one had even noticed the thief despite the peak morning rush when the car was stolen, just before 9am.

“It just happened so quickly, no-one noticed. But I don’t know what they wanted with such an old car, it’s not in great shape, it certainly couldn’t be used as a getaway vehicle.”

Horn said theft from cars was more common than car thefts in the area. However, she had had to secure the battery of her delivery vehicle, hanging exposed under the car, with a chain and padlock after it was stolen three times.

In the latest crime statistics, police reported 53 809 thefts of vehicles and motorcycles in the 2015/16 year (averaging 147 a day). They said 8 673 of these occurred in KwaZulu-Natal (more than 23 a day).

On thefts out of motor vehicles, 139 386 cases were reported in one year. In KZN the number was 17 896.

People reacted with shock at Horn’s post of the footage on social media. One person commented on the terrible parallel parking job.

At the start of the video, the thieves’ car can be seen passing the Hyundai. It stops just off screen and reverses into a parking behind the target. The driver does not quite make it into the parking and starts the parallel park again.

Once parked, the car thief emerges from the passenger seat and, in less than a minute, backs the Hyundai out of the parking and off camera view followed by his accomplice.

Police spokeswoman, Captain Nqobile Gwala, said no recoveries or arrests had been made and a case of theft of motor vehicle was opened.

In the latest crime statistics, police reported 53 809 thefts of vehicles and motorcycles in the 2015/16 year (averaging 147 a day). They said 8 673 of these occurred in KwaZulu-Natal (more than 23 a day).

On thefts out of motor vehicles, 139 386 cases were reported in one year. In KZN the number was 17 896.

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