Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Nice wheels mate, where'd you pinch 'em?

Talk about ballsy!

Break into a police lot and steal wheels off a police vehicle!

Thieves make off with police car wheels

By Bronwyn Gerretsen The Independent

(South Africa)-Not even a police station is a deterrent to criminals.

When officers from Isipingo Metro Police arrived at work at 6am one day last week, they were greeted by the sight of one of their vehicles up on bricks.

Thieves had cut through a fence and stolen all four rims and tyres off a Toyota Run-X.

It was not the first time. About three weeks ago, the rims and tyres of four taxis impounded there were also stolen.

And towards the end of 2008, diesel from some Durban Solid Waste trucks, which park on the property because the company has offices there, was siphoned over a period of a few nights. Police caught the suspects while they were in the act of doing so again.

Infuriated sources, however, say access to the police station is not controlled properly and requests to have better lighting installed in the parking lot have been turned down.

They say it won't be long before a private vehicle is stolen from the police station yard.

One source said some council offices were also on the property and when meetings were held, people walked in and out of the police station "like it was a shopping centre".

"People can easily steal the wheels off cars, almost anyone has access, they know where and when the cars are parked. There are security guards but no access control," he said.

The value of the four rims and tyres stolen from the Run-X is about R12 500. Fingerprints on the vehicle were smudged, so convictions will be difficult.

Metro Police director Vincent Ngubane said he was investigating last week's incident and was not ruling out the possibility of staff involvement.

He said his investigation would include finding out how new the Run-X's tyres were, because this could indicate whether the thieves knew what condition they were in and therefore their value.

Ngubane confirmed the other two incidents and said security at the police station was being assessed and would be beefed up.