Cape Town - An alleged fraudster met his match last week when he was outsmarted by a Bonteheuwel woman who trapped him in a house and got him arrested.
Anwyn Dirks, 38, says after months of waiting for a builder to carry out work on her property, she got suspicious and decided to corner the man.
The mother of five says police have since revealed the man, Michael Miles of Concur Home Services, had allegedly scammed other people too.
“We have a problem because we live in a council house and the toilet is outside, so we asked the municipality to enclose it because we get very sick in winter,” she explains.
“They failed me and never came out, so we decided to do it ourselves and I hired Michael. He told me it would cost R25 000 and the deposit which covers the building plans is needed. I still thought, ‘kwaai, he is getting plans so it is all legal’.”
The woman says after paying Michael R2000 in February, she waited for his architect, named “André”, to get the plans approved but never heard from him.
“I started asking Michael questions and he told me he had a heart attack and was waiting for André,” says Anwyn.
She says weeks went by and when she questioned Michael again, he told her that he’d had another heart attack in April.
“So I told him sy hart moet f***** sterk wees! (So I told him, your heart must be f***ing strong.) Two hearts attacks is such a short time? I knew then he was lying so I decided to trap him when he didn’t pay my money back.”
Together with relatives in Bokmakierie, they devised a plan.
She got her cousin to phone Michael using a fake name and told him she wanted to erect a Wendy house on her property.
Last Thursday, May 24, Michael arrived and Anwyn hid in one of the bedrooms. She surprised him and confronted him about her money.
In a video of the incident made by the cousin, Michael begs Anwyn not to report him to cops and even offers her R1000.
But she refuses, saying: “Jy kan bly wees ek maak jou nie in jou * *** nie, die way ek voel.” (The way I feel, you should be glad that I don't assault you.)
The women then locked him inside the house and called the police who arrested him.
Anwyn says on Monday at the Athlone Magistrate's Court, cops said more cases have been made against the alleged conman.
“They told me he had conned people all over in Mitchells Plain, Parow, Athlone and other places and the (court) case was moved to 7 June,” she says.
“I was basically like a detective but wanted to stop this man. It is heartbreaking to see what he has done; that R2 000 was not small change for us.”
Police spokesperson, Captain FC van Wyk, confirms the arrests and says after the court appearance, the matter has been referred to Bishop Lavis SAPS.