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Durban - Police raided two used spare car parts dealers in Isipingo where a stolen Isuzu bakkie was in the process of being chopped up for its parts.
Two men, aged 33 and 32, have been arrested and charged with possession of stolen property.
It came after officers from the vehicle task team traced the signal of a tracking device on the vehicle to a used-car dealer in Gopal Singh Road on Sunday, where they discovered the bin of the bakkie.
The bakkie was stolen at North Beach on Thursday, but its tracking device began emitting a signal only on Sunday.
When officers arrived at the premises where the signal was coming from, the owner of the dealership said he had bought it from another dealer in the same road.
When police went to the second dealer, they found the rest of the bakkie. It was in the process of being stripped of its parts.
On Monday, officers from the vehicle task team, Isipingo pound and the Road Traffic Inspectorate descended on the dealership for further investigation.
Police sources say that the owner had been on the police’s radar for some time.
“He is quite a big player and has been operating this chop shop under the guise of a used dealership for some time. He is well connected and has been working with corrupted police officers for a long time,” the source said. Investigators spent most of Monday combing the property for parts that might have originated from stolen vehicles.
While officers probed the premises, the owner paced the ground while his lawyer, Arvina Harricharand, negotiated to have the business opened.
“You cannot just shut it down. Only a high court order can do that,” she said.
Police Captain Thulani Zwane said the men were expected to appear in court on Tuesday.