A Mitchells Plain couple say they’ve been swindled out of more than R2000 by Glen Reginald Petersen, 62, and now want to warn people not to fall for his tricks.
in 2015 mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith and his Special Investigations Unit tracked Petersen down at his home in Mitchells Plain after he scammed people out of thousands of rands.
Petersen was arrested and appeared in court for an outstanding warrant issued for a case in Grassy Park in 2014; he also used various aliases including “Eddie Roberts” and “Mr Rinquest”.
Last week, Loukmaan Swigelaar, 65, and his wife Soraya, 49, opened a case with police after Petersen allegedly ran off with the R2190 they gave him to reduce their fines.
The Portlands couple say they met Petersen at a coffee shop in Mitchells Plain where he allegedly pretended to be a traffic officer and introduced himself as Eddie Johnson.
Soraya said: “We were having coffee when he approached us and asked my husband which high school he attended and my husband said Grassy Park High. He said Loukmaan looked familiar and that he also attended the school with his brothers.
“He asked what we were doing now and said he was a traffic cop and that he could help us with the fines. We showed him two traffic fines of R1500 and R500, which were for speeding and driving in the wrong lane. I had the file on me with the intention of paying them and I said he is God-sent.”
The couple allegedly paid Petersen R800 and later another R1390. Soraya said they exchanged telephone numbers and entrusted him with their vehicle’s registration papers for a new licensing disc.
“He came to our home on the Tuesday," said Soraya, "and said he'd discovered we had three more violations and a warrant and said he could get us a new disc. We then gave him R1390 and he kept referring to a colleague called Mr Rinquest.”
By Wednesday, the couple had become suspicious and when he visited again, they took his photo.
Loukman said: “I told him ‘we keep giving you money and there have been no results’. He then said he would sort it out by 3pm that day, but we never saw him again.”
Police spokesperson, Captain FC van Wyk, confirmed a case of theft was opened against Petersen.
According to JP Smith, there are only two ways to reduce fines.
“People get ripped off trying to short-circuit the criminal justice system,” he said. “One, make a representation to the Public Prosecutor at court before your court date.
"Or, two, appear in court on the date listed and make a representation as to why your fine should be withdrawn or reduced. Anything else is illegal.”