Port Elizabeth - Port Elizabeth police in the Eastern Cape are appealing for community assistance in tracing a suspected fraudster, who allegedly defrauds car dealerships and also steals the vehicles.
Police Spokesperson, Captain Sandra Janse van Rensburg said in the past four months, the suspect, between 50 and 60 years old, has allegedly defrauded two dealerships using fraudulent documents to obtain two cars.
It was alleged that in October last year, the suspect approached a dealership in Cape Road Newton Park and enquired about a Ford Ranger Wildtrack vehicle.
He requested a quote and made contact several times with the salesman. He then alleged that he was waiting for monies to be cleared from a trust fund.
Janse Van Rensburg said the suspect produced all the necessary documentation so that the sale could be finalised. The suspect finally produced a bank document verifying proof of payment and the vehicle valued at R 453 490 was released to him.
The car dealership realised that there were no funds in the account and a theft of motor vehicle case was registered with police.
It's believed that the suspect is operating in other provinces. Earlier in February, the same suspect allegedly approached a car dealership in Uitenhage Road, Sydenham.
Janse Van Rensburg said it was alleged that the suspect approached the salesman and showed interest in a Renault Sandero 2018 model. The suspect returned to the dealership and requested to test drive the vehicle and to meet a relative near Greenacres who was interested in the vehicle.
Together they drove the vehicle to Greenacres where the suspect made an excuse to the salesman and suggested that while waiting they should go and have coffee.
"While having coffee, the suspect allegedly received a call and informed the salesman that he was going to fetch his relative who was outside. That was the last the salesman saw the suspect and the vehicle which is valued at R180 000," said Janse Van Rensburg.
Police said other cases were being investigated against the suspect in Despatch in the Eastern Cape and George in the Western Cape. She said the suspect usually enters the dealership before closing times and either on a Friday or Saturday afternoon with proof of payment.
A warrant of arrest has since been issued. Police are warning dealerships to be extremely cautious when selling vehicles. Anyone who recognises the suspect is asked to contact Mount Road Detectives.
African News Agency (ANA)