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Man wanted for stealing cars from PE dealerships nabbed in Kwazakhele

Mar 20, 2019
Man wanted for stealing cars from PE dealerships nabbed in Kwazakhele

Port Elizabeth -  The Port Elizabeth Vehicle Crime Investigating Unit (VCIU) made a breakthrough and arrested a wanted suspect, Samuel Chitja (60), for fraud and theft of motor vehicles. 

"The VCIU acted on information received of the possible whereabouts of the suspect and during the early hours of Tuesday morning and a search warrant was executed at a house in Matsha street, Kwazakele, Port Elizabeth, described police spokesperson, Capt Sandra Janse Van Rensburg.

She said that the suspect was arrested on the warrant of arrest on a Mount Road police case.

"It is alleged that on 24 October 2018, the suspect approached a car dealer in Cape Road, Newton Park, Port Elizabeth, and enquired about a Ford Ranger Wildtrack vehicle.

"He requested a quote and made contact several times with the salesman," she said.

"He then alleged that he is waiting for monies to be cleared from a Trust Fund. He then produced all the necessary documents so that the sale could be finalised."

Capt Janse Van Rensburg said that all of these documents - including bank statements were false.

"On 3 November 2018, he produced a bank document verifying proof of payment. The vehicle valued at R453 490 was released to him.

"On Monday, 5 November, the dealership realised that there was no funds in the account nor was there a trust fund," she added.

Samuel Chitja linked to eight car theft cases totalling over R2 million

"Furthermore, Chitja was linked to another Mount Road police case of theft of motor vehicle where it is alleged that on 21 February this year, Chitja also approached another car dealership in Uitenhage Road, Sydenham."

It is alleged that he approached the salesman and showed interest in a Renault Sandero 2018 model.

"On 26 February, the suspect returned to the dealership and requested to test drive the vehicle and to meet a relative near Greenacres, who was interested in the vehicle," Capt Janse Van Rensburg said.

"He explained that she was at her work place. They drove the vehicle to Greenacres and the suspect offered an excuse to the salesman and suggested that while waiting, they should go and have coffee.

"While having coffee, the suspect allegedly received a call and informed the salesman that he was going to fetch his relative, who was outside. That was the last the salesman saw the suspect and the vehicle, which is valued at R180 000."

Police suspect that he may be linked to eight other cases of fraud and theft of motor vehicle.

"He is alleged to have committed Fraud in Cambridge area in March 2014. The estimated total value of the fraud amounts to R2 000 000."

Samuel Chitja appeared in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court on Tuesday and was remanded in custody to the 25 March 2019 for verification of his identity.

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