Warrant Officer, D. Du Plessis, of the local Crime Investigation Office in Piet Retief is asking for the assistance of the community in tracing two suspects who are linked to fraudulent activities that happened on Thursday, 28 March.
According to W.O. Du Plessis, the suspects stole someone’s bank card at a local ATM whereafter they used it to purchase liquor to the value of R3 000- 00. The culprits also managed to withdraw R5 000-00 before the bank card was successfully stopped. If you could assist with the identification of these two men, please contact him at the Crime Investigation Office on 017 826 2188. W.O. Du Plessis is urging the community members to NEVER accept any help from strangers at ATM’s.
Criminals will offer to assist and once they manage to distract you, they will inform you that the machine is faulty and they will switch your bank card with another one, which they had previously stolen. Criminals will also say that they are able to assist you and while you enter your pin, they have everything they need and will quickly disappear, while you would still be waiting for your money or assistance with the “faulty” ATM.
Shortly thereafter, you might receive a SMS confirming a withdrawal or purchase at a store. These criminals are very clever. They know that they only have about three minutes to use your bank card before you get assistance in cancelling or blocking the card.
Please remember that opening a fraud case might not be a guarantee that you would get your money back or that the bank will compensate you for your loss. According to the bank’s records, it indicates that you are the one who approved the transactions by swiping your bank card or withdrawing your funds by using your pin code. It is not always that easy to prove that you have been scammed in these matters.
Be very cautious at any ATM or in any store where you are able to withdraw cash from the till point. Criminals are lurking around to find their next victim so rather be safe than sorry and trust no one who offers assistance at an ATM.
Two robberies, within five days
According to information provided by the local SAPS, cases of armed robbery and common robbery are currently under investigation. A complainant (victim) was visiting a tavern in Eziphunzini on Saturday, 23 March.
At around 20:30, the complainant went outside the building to make a phone call and when he took his cellular phone out of his pocket, a man approached him, grabbed his phone and ran away.
The suspect is known to the victim and his name was provided to the police. The cellular phone is a Samsung Galaxy J7 and is valued at R4 000-00. On Thursday, 28 March, at around 04:30, an armed robbery occurred at a bus stop in Phoswa, eThandukukhanya.
According to the case information, a complainant (victim in this case) reported to the police that he was waiting at the bus stop when a group of unknown men approached him. One of the men pointed a firearm at him, another grabbed him around his neck, while the other members of this group took his money (R200-00) and his cellular phone (Samsung Galaxy J4).
The suspects then fled the scene. No arrests have been made regarding both these cases and officials investigating them are urging the community members to come forward if they have any information that might lead to the successful arrest of these criminals. If you can give any information, please contact the Charge Office on 017 824 2601/02.