Pietermaritzburg - Ten men believed to be part of a car theft syndicate operating in the Midlands and Durban appeared in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday on 16 charges.

They were all remanded in custody until February 11, when more charges may be added.

The charge sheet reflects a string of charges relating to car thefts in 2012.

On January 5, 2012, a gang attempted to steal a VW Polo from Todd Place in Montrose. They did not succeed, but stole a handbag containing R600 cash from the car.

On May 2, in Aberfeldy Road in Scottsville, the gang stole a VW Polo worth R180 000. On June 12, the gang hit Acacia Road, where a Honda motorcycle worth R70 000 was stolen.

A month later, on July 4, they stole a Msunduzi Municipality Toyota Hilux bakkie worth R30 000 from a house in Benju Road. Other cars stolen between July and December 2012 include a Toyota double cab bakkie from Cascades shopping centre valued at R280 000, a Suzuki motorcycle from Cato Manor, a Toyota RunX from Overport, a BMW worth R260 000 from Loop Street in Pietermaritzburg, a Toyota bakkie in Howick and a Toyota double cab in Estcourt.

The syndicate was thought to have been operating for more than five years.

The accused are

Ian Williams, 27; Siyanda Tsotsane, 21; Ndumiso Nthangase, 24; Siyanda Mkhize, 34; Nathi Hlela, 42; Thobelani Dlamini, 23; Sbongiseni Marken, 24; Lwazi Xulu, 24; Sandile Shezi, 29; and Derrick Williams, 35.

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