Watch out for car scam

Lieutenant-Colonel Vuyelwa Mbuya.

Cape Town Central’s newly appointed commander of the commercial fraud unit, Lieutenant-Colonel Vuyelwa Mbuya, has warned the public about a car-purchase scam taking place in the city centre.

Lieutenant-Colonel Mbuya said the same scam had raised its head four times over the past two months and involved a man responding to adverts of people selling cars online.

She said the man, known to the police as Amos Rakedi, would respond to a seller with interest in the vehicle they are selling, and promises to pay for the car. He even sends “proof” of payment.

The man then sends another man who claims to be his son, only identified as Alvin, to have a look at the car, and then leaves with it. The car’s owner then realises that they did not pay.

She said there was no specific car that they targeted.

Lieutenant-Colonel Mbuya started her career at SAPS 28 years ago.

“I love the police service and its my passion to see justice being served. My father was a cop, and I watched him work to put criminals behind bars which fascinated me. I enjoy the challenge.”

She started as a general detective and then moved to the Wynberg Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences office in 2005. “It became too much for me, working with the children. I became overprotective and sensitive to the cases, so I moved back to the general detective office in Muizenberg.

“I worked there until I was appointed to commander of the commercial fraud at Cape Town Central.”

She said working with fraud was challenging because you are working with faceless people. “In Cape Town, you get various fraud cases from ATM frauds to wills and internet frauds.”

She said tourists need to be educated about ATM fraud and scams in the city, as they are too trustworthy. “We want to welcome our visitors but at the same time, we want them to be vigilant.” She warned people to not make transactions via social media or on the internet without properly verifying details.

A man was arrested for theft in Strand Street on Saturday June 22 after he allegedly pick-pocketed a woman’s phone. The woman pointed the man out to security who arrested him and handed him over to the police.

Also on Saturday June 22, police arrested a man for possession of presumed stolen property in Waterkant Street.

Officers on patrol attended to a complaint where cellphones went missing inside a club. With the permission of the manager, the officers searched a man and found two cellphones in his possession.

A 31-year-old man was arrested for common robbery on Saturday June 22 after he allegedly grabbed a woman’s cellphone from her hands while she was taking pictures on her iPhone 7 in the Bo-Kaap.

The woman had pleaded with the man to give her phone back but he demanded cash in return for the phone and eventually fled on foot. He was caught by Cape Town Central police officers and members of the Central City Improvement District (CCID) on the corner of Buitengracht and Leeuwen streets, in Schotschekloof.

The women’s cellphone was returned to her. The man was detained at Cape Town Central police station and was due to appear in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Monday June 24.

Cape Town Central police officers arrested three suspects, aged between 28 and 37, for theft from a motor vehicle on Wednesday June 19 in Rose Mount Street, Vredehoek.

The suspects were detained at Cape Town Central police station and remained in custody until Friday June 21 for their first court appearance where police opposed bail.