OR Tambo detectives crack vehicle theft syndicate

The company which fell victim has opened a theft of motor vehicle case at SAPS ORTIA

A man who allegedly hired a vehicle from a car rental company under false pretences at OR Tambo International Airport (ORTIA) appeared in the Kempton Park Magistrates Court on Thursday.

Prince Maluleke (30) from Pretoria was charged with motor vehicle theft and remained behind bars until a formal bail application on Tuesday.

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According to the SAPS, on March 16, 2014, an unemployed Maluleke went to the car rental company and provided staff with a false address in order to rent a vehicle for eight days.

When the company realised that the return date had lapsed and the car hadn’t been returned, they alerted police.

An intelligence-driven operation was set up between the members of the OR Tambo Task Team and Crime Intelligence head office.

“The white Toyota Corolla was recovered at a parking lot with false number plates and disc on 26 May, 2015, in Voortrekker Road, Gezina, Pretoria. On the same day Maluleke was tracked down and arrested at his residence in New Eesterus. He has since been charged with theft of motor vehicle and detained at SAPS OR Tambo International Airport’s holding cells,” the SAPS reported.

Further police investigations revealed that the vehicle registration plates and the licence disc on the Toyota Corolla belonged to a silver BMW.

The accused had already sold it for a purported R20 000 to a Midrand man.

Maluleke had allegedly done this in March, this year, at a different car rental company at ORTIA.

He sold the car to certain individuals in Rustenburg, North West, but it was later recovered by police.

The SAPS said this method of operation (modus operandi) led police to suspect that a car theft syndicate may be operating at the airport.

The company which fell victim to Maluleke’s antics opened a case of theft of motor vehicle at SAPS ORTIA.

Detectives have now widened the net to include this case in their on-going investigation and any other cases that may come up.

“We will centralise the cases to ensure that the dockets are investigated by the OR Tambo Task Team. Detectives are on a manhunt of all the suspects for the ORTIA, Rustenburg and any other related cases,” – SAPS

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