Eastern Cape police took just 30 minutes to find and arrest a man who proposed love to a woman, then drove off in her car when she asked him to find parking.
Captain Mlungisi Matidane spread out a search net for the man on Saturday after receiving a call from the woman's doctor in KwaZulu-Natal.
The physician told him that his patient had picked up a hitch-hiker earlier in July while driving to Pietermaritzburg in her maroon Toyota Tazz.
The 53-year-old man claimed he was an Mthatha municipal manager and that he owned the Mtlala Bus Service.
He told the woman he was hitch-hiking because he had taken his Mercedes-Benz to a garage for immobiliser repairs, and showed her how much amount of money he had in his cellphone.
He described himself as a family man, but explained that his wife had died in an accident five years ago.
"She started to trust him," said Matidane. "The gentleman proposed love to the lady," he said. He wanted to have an affair with her. "She agreed to accept the proposal."
On reaching their destination, the woman was unable to find parking so she got out of the car and asked the man to park somewhere. "He vanished," said Matidane.
On learning what had happened, Matidane mobilised informers in the area and within 30 minutes police had found the man in possession of the car in Tsolo and arrested him.
He had since been sent back to KwaZulu-Natal, where the offence was committed, Matidane said.
"This man was a well-known crook from Lusikisiki," he said, urging women not pick up hitch-hikers as they could be robbed. - Sapa