FRIDAY 27 MAY 2016 – 2pm

Vision Tactical & ER24 partner for a faster response.

Paramedics from ER24 will respond to any emergencies in Houghton & surrounding suburbs with certain Vision Tactical Response Units. ER24 owns its fleet of more than 280 Rapid Response Vehicles and Ambulances, and operates a national 24-hour Emergency Contact Centre.

“We are taking our service to the next level making our tactical response unique” , said Yaseen Theba, Director of Vision Tactical. “We partnered with experts in our field that offer quality medical emergency service solutions to best suit our clients needs” he added.


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With theft out of motor vehicle cases on the rise in Houghton, a recent arrest is said to be a breakthrough. On 17 May just after 2pm, three suspects were arrested as they were just about to cash in on their next victim.

According to Yaseen Theba of Vision Tactical, security officers have been monitoring what could be a syndicate operating in Houghton. “We noticed an increase in cases that were related to theft out of motor vehicles which seemed to be related to car jamming,” shared Theba. With this said, the company increased their patrols and visibility.

On the day the arrest was made, the company’s tactical team saw three well-dressed men who looked suspicious at a filling station. The suspects allegedly approached a victim who had just withdrawn money from an ATM. “They told the victim that the transaction he just made was not complete and he needed to put his card back in the machine,” Theba said.

The suspects then allegedly took the card from the victim, giving the impression that they were inserting it back in the machine, but it seemed to have not been the case. A security guard from Vision Tactical quickly stepped in and asked why they were asking for the victim’s card. An altercation ensued and the victim asked for his card back but the suspects refused. The victim then allegedly hit one of the suspects on the head.

In between all of this, police were called to the scene.

“The flying squad arrived. The suspects’ vehicle was searched and police found jamming devices, credit cards and a Speedpoint machine,” Theba said.

The suspects were arrested. Two were detained at Norwood Police Station and the third is said to be in a hospital under police guard as it is reported that he suffered some injuries to his head.

Trying to get comment from the police proved fruitless as there seemed to be confusion as to which division was handling the matter. Provincial police spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said the case was being handled by the Hawks. By the time of publication, Gauteng Hawks spokesperson Captain Carol Mulamu, said their detectives were not in possession of the said docket.

An auto industry expert says that an updated list of the most stolen vehicles in South Africa would include the VW Polo.

His comment follows an article published by Car Info in September 2015, questioning which cars are the most stolen in the country.

The company concluded that the top most stolen cars in South Africa are:

  1. Toyota Hi-ace
  2. Nissan 1400
  3. Toyota Hilux
  4. Toyota Venture
  5. Toyota Corolla
  6. Toyota Fortuner

The latter article pointed to a spike in the theft of two Toyota models: Hilux and Fortuner, citing Cross Country Insurance Consultants.

Both the SAPS and the country’s insurers are reluctant to provide information on the vehicles that are stolen in South Africa.

Both Toyota cars feature in the top 15 best selling cars list of South Africa, despite their hefty price tags.

BusinessTech recently queried the police, but was told that it does not provide that information. It has also asked two major insurers who both declined to comment.

Read: The worst hijacking spots in South Africa

According to Crime StatsSA, 56,616 vehicles were stolen in South Africa in 2014, taking the total to 810,785 since 2004.

With approximately 11 million cars on South Africa’s roads, Datadot, puts the number of stolen vehicles in the country at an estimated 1.6 million.

An industry source with extensive knowledge of the motor industry said that the top three most stolen cars in South Africa currently were:

  • Toyota Hilux
  • Toyota Fortuner
  • VW Polo

The Hilux was the best selling vehicle in South Africa in 2015, selling just shy of 37,000 units, while the VW Polo Vivo Hatch and VW Polo hatch were third and forth on the list behind the Ford Ranger, with a combined total of more than 47,000 sales.

The Fortuner is also among the more popular cars in South Africa, and is believed to be popular as a feeder for parts for the mini-bus taxi industry.

The Automobile Association (AA) said that the motor vehicle market accounts for the disposal of approximately 50% of stolen and hijacked vehicles.

Other stolen vehicles may be disposed of through exportation to other countries, 30%, and the remaining 20% going to the second-hand parts market.

Older vehicles between seven and 21 years old are at higher risk of theft while vehicles between one and four years are at the highest risk of robbery.

“Mini buses top the ratings for cars that are targeted for theft or robbery, with sedans being the most frequent target for criminals. Entry level and cheaper vehicles were also found to be high risk, as well as vehicles with a high market volume,” the AA has said.

The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco), estimates that there are approximately 250,000 taxis on our roads. And among CarInfo’s list of most stolen vehicles, is the Hiace, a minibus manufactured by Toyota, and widely used by the national taxi industry.

Be careful not to compromise a crime scene

Police have recently found that, in their eagerness to spread police successes on social media, members of the community can inadvertently compromise crime scenes and the investigation of the crime itself.

When suspects are arrested, it is important to remember that identity parades will form part of the investigation process. Therefore, photographs depicting the faces of suspects should not be distributed at all, since it can have a negative impact on the investigation and any identity parades to be held in connection with the case.

By preserving a crime scene, the evidence collected will be of a better quality, thereby ensuring a higher conviction rate. A crime scene not only includes the place where the crime was committed , but also the area surrounding the immediate crime scene and can cover a very large area.

In the investigation of a crime, police gather information and physical evidence which can be used to help solve the case. If you preserve the crime scene, then police will be able to gather uncontaminated evidence.

The more the crime scene is damaged, the less evidence can be collected and used.

You can preserve a crime scene by doing the following:-

· Take care of the injured,

· Limit your movement on the crime scene,

· Avoid contact with visible evidence,

· Leave the scene undisturbed,

· Don’t move around the scene to establish what damage or losses were incurred,

· Don’t touch or move any items at the scene,

· Leave the crime scene, but be available for questioning by police,

· Use an alternative route, not the ones used by criminals,

· If possible, lock the premises but be on hand to unlock for police,

· Do not distribute facial images of the suspects.

Every person at, or in the vicinity of a crime scene, is a potential witness.

Tell police everything you know, no matter how small or insignificant you think your input will be.

Entrust the crime scene to police because, in doing so, you have taken the first step in enabling police to identify the criminals, arrest them and bring about their conviction.

Johannesburg – Radovan Krejcir’s most recent escape plot was going to be a “full-on war” against Zonderwater prison, with about 10 assault rifle-wielding thugs meant to storm it and free him.

Planned for March this year, the plot, which would have seen the Czech fugitive transported to a safe house in Mamelodi, near Pretoria, soon after his prison break, was foiled by an undercover police operation, a court has heard.

Meanwhile, Krejcir was allegedly willing to pay about R30 million for a series of “strategic executions” in Mamelodi that would have allowed him to escape the area undetected by distracted police services.

This was revealed on Friday when a member of the Krejcir investigation team, Colonel Bongani Gininda, took the stand to argue against the bail of Sandile Mdumbe, the man who was in charge of a safe house where Krejcir was allegedly going to be taken after the bloody operation.

On Friday, Mdumbe and Zonderwater Correctional Services Officer, Solly Metlae, applied for bail at the Kempton Park Magistrate’s Court after they were arrested last month for their alleged roles in the plot.

However, the prosecution was so insistent that Mdumbe, an alleged career criminal, not receive bail, that the colonel was brought to testify on the intensely violent nature of Krejcir’s newest alleged prison escape plan.

On March 31 this year, a group of at least 9 or 10 men armed with R4 rifles were expected to arrive at Zonderwater prison where the Czech was being held.

Having allegedly been briefed by Metlae on the weaknesses in the prison’s security system, including who was on duty and the number of officers they would need to evade and/or kill, the group were expected to extract Krejcir from his cell.

“It would have been a full-on war,” another member of the investigation team told The Star, who explained that using R4 rifles, rather than handguns or the more compact R5 rifles, meant that the group was clearly planning on multiple kills during the raid.

According to Gininda’s testimony, Krejcir would be taken from the prison to the nearby Pick n Pay in Cullinan, where he would meet with Mdumbe and be taken to a safe house in Mamelodi. From there, an associate of Krejcir was expected to arrive with R5 million to distribute among the group to pay for their assistance and subsequent silence.

However, the State’s charge sheet against Krejcir, Mdumbe and Metlae implies that the entire operation was ultimately going to cost the Czech R30 million.

According to Gininda, after the cash was divided, the group would then conduct “strategic executions” of residents in the area, to ensure that police were too busy and distracted to notice Krejcir being taken further out of the area.

The murderous – and clearly expensive – operation was foiled, however, because of nine Cape Town Police Special Task Force members flown up to Johannesburg to act as undercover hired guns.

Gininda explained that some of the members were trusted enough to be brought in to assist in the escape plot, and it was one of these agents who made audio and video recordings of his interactions with Mdumbe when they met a few days prior to the plot.

According to Gininda, Mdumbe was clearly aware of the plot and was happy to take the agent, accompanied by Metlae, to the safe house.

Mdumbe allegedly told the undercover officer about the division of money, meeting Krejcir and his group at the Pick n Pay, and gave out his cellphone number freely.

However, in the early hours of March 31, the police planned their own takedown operation, and immediately arrested Mdumbe and Metlae, though Gininda admitted there were still three outstanding suspects who allegedly assisted in the plot, one of whom has fled South Africa.

During the bail application, Mdumbe claimed that he believed the agent was someone looking to rent the property and he was not even aware of who Krejcir was. He also said he had only met Metlae a month prior to his arrest. Gininda was quick to point out, however, that Metlae had been working at another prison, the same prison where Mdumbe was being held prior to his parole in 2012, and this was where they had met.

Earlier on Friday, Metlae was given bail of R10 000, with the State opting not to oppose the bail for unknown reasons.

However, Mdumbe’s bail application could not be completed due to a lack of time, and the proceedings were postponed to May 19.

Meanwhile, Krejcir’s own murder trial for the killing of alleged Bedfordview drug kingpin, Sam Issa, is expected to begin on Monday.

Bail bid held up by suspect’s history

Mdumbe’s bail application on Friday proved to be a difficult one after the prosecution aired his criminal history to the courtroom in a bid to stop his release on bail.

It was revealed on Friday he may have assisted in another escape attempt involving a fellow inmate several years ago.

According to investigating officer Colonel Bongani Gininda, Mdumbe had failed to obey the law on numerous occasions:

In 1992, Mdumbe had been convicted of two counts of assault, and as corporal punishment was still in place at the time, he was sentenced to five lashes. That same year, he was involved in a housebreaking in Sunnyside, Pretoria, for which he was sentenced to six lashes, although another Mamelodi case, where he was found in possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition, netted him three years’ imprisonment.

In 2002, he was convicted of another armed robbery, among other charges, including perjury. He ultimately received a 43-year prison sentence. He was released on parole in 2012, though it was only after he was implicated in Krejcir’s escape plan that investigators discovered he may have escaped custody from a case in Newcastle, KZN, and also assisted another suspect in escaping from custody.

Gininda told the court Mdumbe had been implicated in an attempted murder case from February this year while on parole, though the charges were provisionally withdrawn pending further investigation.


Krejcir’s other alleged escape plans

Despite police claiming on record that there had been numerous plots by the Czech fugitive to escape, he has been criminally charged only for the most recent plan – the March 2016 one.

* In October last year, The Star reported how Correctional Services discovered Krejcir’s plan to escape from a female police officer who was to escort him to a doctor’s appointment.

During the trip, he would overpower his handler, escape using a Mercedes-Benz and cross the border into Swaziland. Once in Swaziland, Krejcir would stay at the Royal Swazi Sun in Ezulwini and eventually cross into Mozambique, from where he would have been taken in a chartered plane to Argentina.

* In September last year, The Star’s sister paper, The Sunday Independent, reported how Correctional Services had raided Krejcir’s cell and discovered items expected to be used in an escape attempt. A pistol, ammunition, a knife, a Taser-like object, a pepper-spray gun, screwdriver, steel blades, 10 cellphones, a memory stick and a diary which contained the names of witnesses and investigators in his cases were all seized from his quarters.

The Star

02 May 2016 at 17:22pm

Police have rounded up a gang of criminals specialising in vehicle hijackings and business and house robberies.

More than 30 firearms and seven vehicles were seized during a sting operation last week.

One of the suspects was arrested yesterday morning while attending a church service in Baduza Street in KwaThema, Springs.

He was in possession of an unlicensed firearm and a stolen cellphone, according to Gauteng police spokesman Lungile Dlamini.

He said the suspect would face charges of possession of an unlicensed firearm and suspected stolen property when he appeared in the KwaThema Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

The 34 firearms seized and seven vehicles recovered are believed to have been stolen to commit serious and violent crimes.

Dlamini said four of the nine suspects were shot dead during the far-reaching arrests, which began on April 25.

“Another suspect, wanted for serious crimes, was arrested at the Greenstone mall in Edenvale by police doing routine crime prevention on Saturday,” he said.

The suspect was in possession of two unlicensed firearms and a white X5 BMW that was hijacked in Pretoria West.

Dlamini said that on further investigation, it was established that the suspect was out on bail for serious and violent crimes, including a murder case in Tembisa, Ekurhuleni, and a cash-in-transit robbery in Limpopo.

Police have urged the public to report suspicious-looking vehicles and look out for the following:

* Mostly luxury vehicles driving around with three or four men.

* Vehicles with two different registration plates at the back and front or even without registration plates with a group of three to four people (mostly men).

* Unmarked vehicles with blue lights.

* Unknown vehicles parked next to the gates.

* Two or three people posing as employees of certain companies or as job-seekers.

* A group of men wearing heavy clothing.

* People standing aimlessly near financial institutions or ATMs.

The Star