Gauteng police have recovered vehicle parts linked to nine cases of hijacking or stolen vehicles across the province.
In a joint operation that ran parallel with Operation O Kae Molao in Tsakane, the provincial vehicle-crime investigating unit team, Ekurhuleni Metro Police and Tracker on Thursday followed a stolen vehicle from Soweto to Commissioner Street in Jeppestown, Johannesburg.
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After inspection, the officers confirmed the site was a "chop shop", Brigadier Mathapelo Peters said in a statement.
"As soon as the alleged owner, a foreign national, realised that police were onto him, he escaped. Police are still searching for the man," said Peters.
With the assistance of Data Dot, the police were able to identify two VW Polo headlights linked to a Randburg case opened this month, a Toyota Etios gearbox linked to a Brixton case opened in June, a VW gearbox casing linked to a Florida case opened in June, and a VW Polo engine and gearbox linked to a Honeydew case from this month.
More parts recovered
Continued investigations on Friday saw more parts recovered, including a Nissan headlight and brake booster linked to a Parkview case from August, a Toyota brake booster linked to a Jeppe case from June, a Toyota Etios brake booster linked to a Brixton case from March, a Toyota Etios rear bumper linked to a Johannesburg Central case opened in October 2018, and two VW Polo front headlights linked to a Randfontein case from September.
"Operations of this nature will continue as police in Gauteng intensify efforts to reduce the volumes of serious and violent crime through curbing the theft of motor vehicles and especially hijackings that are often violent in nature," said Peters.
"Members of the public are urged to assist the police by reporting on suspicious chop shops, where prices are often ridiculously lower than market prices. Buying at such places only creates the space for hijacking and places the lives of innocent people at risk."
Report crime by calling the nearest police station or the crime stop number 08600 10111.