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Opportunistic crime remains a cause of concern in Newcastle, with criminals once again pretending to be police officers, preying on pedestrians.
Media liaison for Newcastle Police, Lizzy Arumugam, explains this follows a recent case on 19 March 2022 at the Makenjee Arcade on Kirkland Street, CBD.
“The complainant alleged that he was walking, when he was approached by some males pretending to be police officers. They asked for his ID book and wrote down his names and ID number. The suspects also took his bank card from the ID book,” Arumugam explained.
The complainant then received an SMS stating that R1 400 was withdrawn from his account the following day. A case of fraud has been opened, and police investigations continue.
Concerningly, this is the second case reported over the past few months whereby criminals have pretended to be police officers for criminal gain.
On 17 February 2022, the Newcastillian – Online News reported how a man was targeted by two men with a similar modus operandi.
In this incident, the victim was walking towards the taxi rank when he was stopped by the two suspects claiming to be police officers. The perpetrators claimed that they needed to inspect his belongings as they were investigating a theft case.
While the men were not dressed in uniform, the victim assisted them by handing over his belongings. After allegedly checking the man’s belongings, the two suspects put the man’s belongings into a brown envelope, cautioning him not to open it. They then alerted the man that they had to take him to the police station.
Fortunately, a uniformed police officer walked by at that moment, with the victim calling for help. One of the men was then subsequently arrested.
To read the full article, click here.
With the criminal element now pretending to be police officers, Arumugam notes that it is essential for Newcastillians to be aware of their rights when approached by an individual who claims they work for the SAPS.
She says, “When approached by a police official, ask them to produce their Identification Card before you answer any questions. Do not give your ID Number, Pin code and Bank Card to anyone.”
Anyone with information on such criminals is requested to be patriotic and report them to the SAPS on 034 314 6156
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