Hyundai H-100 like this one was stolen by slipping the owner a knock-out drug. File photo: Hyundai SA
Pretoria - In what police describe as a new crime trend, criminals last week courted and dined the owner of a removal truck as they “discussed” a business deal - but the next thing he knew was when he woke up in a hospital bed.

Police spokeswoman Captain Augustinah Selepe said the man told police his removal truck - a Hyundai H-100 - was parked outside an eatery on Nana Sita and Sophie De Bruyn streets while he bought food, when two men approached him and asked for assistance in moving furniture. They all sat down to eat and later gave him something to drink.

“However, the next thing he knew he was at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital with no idea when and how he got there,” she said.

His vehicle was also missing from where he had left it.

“We urge people to be extremely cautious, since this might be a new crime trend. Criminals will pretend they want to do business while they have criminal motives.”

Increased visibility

Selepe said police were aware of the high rate of vehicle theft in the city and surrounds. In an effort to curb the crime, they had increased visibility on the streets.

“Last weekendm we arrested 30 suspects for, among other crimes, motor vehicle theft,” said Selepe, who is stationed at Pretoria Central police station.

“Our crime analysis has shown an increase in theft of motor vehicles and our station commander is urging residents to take the necessary precautions to ensure vehicles are safeguarded.”

Vehicles were being stolen in parking areas next to churches and on pavements which are easily accessible to criminals.

“We encourage residents and visitors in the CBD to activate their car alarms and use mechanisms to safeguard their vehicles at all times and to park at secure places.”

Pretoria News

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