Victims of stock theft are now falling prey to opportunists posing as police, who say they can return their stolen livestock, but then pocket their money, never to be seen again.
SAPS Stock Theft Unit in KwaZulu-Natal is warning the livestock owners to be aware of the modus operandi of the thieves. They tell the stock theft victims they have found and recovered the stolen livestock, said police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbhele.
“They pretend to be police officers from Stock Theft Unit from other provinces investigating their cases. They would inform the victim that their livestock has been recovered from another province but they have to deposit a certain amount of cash so that their livestock can be transported back home.”
She said the criminals were demanding amounts from R2000 upwards.
“Police are warning the community members to be aware of such deception. Please beware that there is no investigating officer who can ask the victim for money. The Stock Theft investigators will assist victims and would drive them by state vehicle to view recovered livestock. Criminals are targeting victims who are close to the borders in areas like Bulwer, Impendle and Bergville.”
She said victims of stock theft were advised to make contact with their investigating officers as soon as they have opened a stock theft case. If contacted by these criminals, they were advised to immediately contact the nearest police station or their investigating officer.