CRIMINALS will not only face a jail sentence, but the force of the law could also hit them in their pockets.
This was the case with a Mamelodi resident whose car – which was used as the getaway vehicle during a housebreaking in Lynnwood Glen – was forfeited to the state.
The North Gauteng High Court issued an order following an application by the office of the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) that the red VW Polo GTi vehicle used during a housebreaking be forfeited.
The vehicle is in the custody of the police, but in terms of the order, it will be sold by auction to the highest bidder.
The proceeds will be paid into the Criminal Assets Recovery Account.
The NDPP last year obtained a preservation order regarding the vehicle, but since its owner had now pleaded guilty to housebreaking, the car was forfeited.
According to a police statement before court, a group of men broke into the Lynnwood Glen home in July 2017. They were caught red-handed, but some of them got away.
The owner of the house had left that morning to go to Joburg for a meeting. He was phoned at lunchtime by a neighbour to tell him that shots were being fired at his house.
When he got there, he found that the kitchen door had been forced open and the thugs had taken some items. He also noticed an unknown red VW Polo in his driveway.
A security guard at an armed response company told the court that he was attending to another house robbery in the vicinity, when a domestic worker told him she suspected that another house was being robbed.
When he got to the house he saw the red vehicle, which was facing the gate. Its doors were open and the engine was idling. He saw a man wearing gloves coming out of the house.
He told the man to lie down, but he kept on moving towards the car. The guard fired a warning shot and the thug ran towards the house.
He stopped only after a second shot was fired.
Inside the car, the guard found a plasma TV, which had been removed from a wall in the house.
The other crooks, meanwhile, scrambled over a wall and got away.
The owner of the getaway car, Eric Mdikologa, who was arrested on the scene, was meanwhile charged with housebreaking. He pleaded guilty to this in September last year.
He was sentenced to a six-year jail term, five of them suspended. He is serving time at the Kgosi Mampuru II Correctional Centre outside Pretoria.
The court was told that it was clear that the vehicle formed the subject of a crime – this was because it had been used to transport the crooks to the crime scene and to load stolen property.
It was also intended to be used as a getaway vehicle.
By ZELDA VENTER firstname.lastname@example.org
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