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Facebook Robbers – SAPS Issue Warning

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Many incidents have been reported on by the media where the dangers of responding to social media adverts have been highlighted. Still community members and young people become vulnerable to these types of posts, and expose themselves to great danger. On Friday, 9 September 2016 at 12:00 a 23-year-old man from Grassy Park saw a Facebook post about someone selling a Volkswagen Golf at R25 000.

The Facebook post seemed to be legitimate, with pictures and a description of the car. The interested buyer made contact with the potential seller and they agreed to meet at an address in Greatfish Road, Manenberg.

When the prospective buyer and his two college friends arrived at Greatfish Road the address on the advertisement could not be found and he was directed to a house further down the road. When they got to the other address two men just got into the car. The one man pulled out a firearm and threatened the 23-year-old victim and his friends. The suspects took their cell phones and R80,00 in cash, robbing them of a total value of R2500,00. The victim and his friends were forced to drive around in Manenberg until they managed to drop off the suspects in Jordan Road.

Detective Constable Joshua Williams received the case and he immediately made enquiries. He never gave up and as the case seemed hopeless, he followed up on information which led to the naming of two males who had possibly been involved in selling cars. The community feared retaliation by gangs in the area which made it difficult to get any witnesses to come forward with information.

The investigating officer eventually brought in a 27-year-old man for questioning on Saturday 10 September 2016 and on Monday in the early hours of the morning he finally put the pieces together and made a second arrest. The two suspects, aged 27 and 53 were arrested and charged with robbery with a firearm. They appeared today in the Athlone Magistrates’ court.

The young people involved in the incident were fortunate to escape unharmed, because so many bad things could have happened to them. The SAPS appeals to community members, when seeing an advert on social media, to make enquiries to establish and verify the legitimacy of the so-called sale. This may prevent another serious crime from being committed.

“Beware, be safe, be smart and report Crime. Don’t become a victim”, is the message from the Manenberg SAPS Station Commander, Col Hendri Hugo.