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Wheels ‘grow wings’

Waking up in the morning and getting ready to go to work, only to discover that all four wheels of your car have been stolen, can leave one with a sinking feeling.

This is the scene several car owners in Table View and surrounds have faced over the past few months, with the latest such incident reportedly taking place on Wednesday 2 May when a resident of Athens Road in Flamingo Vlei discovered that the wheels of a car on her property had mysteriously gone missing.

The resident warned others to be careful after all four wheels of a car belonging to a family member were stolen. “Awoke to find car on bricks,” the resident notified people on the Table View Neighbourhood Watch’s Facebook page earlier this month. The car, she says, was parked behind a locked gate.

According to her information there were four other vehicles parked on the property – but the criminals apparently targeted the smallest one.

Table View police informed TygerBurger that although they do not receive many of these calls, the police dealt with 11 such cases between 1 January and 7 May this year.

TygerBurger wanted to know if the police could confirm whether a syndicate is behind these crimes, and explain what is being done with the wheels after being stolen.

Captain Adriana Chandler, police spokesperson, could not confirm whether the thieves are indeed part of a larger syndicate. She explained that the wheels are possibly sold to potential buyers.

None of the wheels stolen so far have been recovered.

From their side the Table View Neighbourhood Watch (TVNW) says they are aware of all the incidents in which wheels have been stolen, and that many of these reports have come in from the residents themselves either through phone calls or via Facebook or emails sent to their control room.

Their safety and security representative, Brian Gardner, also regularly receives updates from the Table View Police Station.

“TVNW cannot speculate as to what happens with the wheels once they are stolen or if a syndicate is involved here.

“What we can say is that we have ramped up our patrols in the areas that have been targeted to create high visibility. Multiple warnings have gone out to residents to safeguard themselves against becoming victims of these crimes. We also urge the public to use our number, which is manned 24/7, should they note any suspicious activity,” says Laura Outhet, TVNW spokesperson.

The incident in Athens Road was apparently not the first incident of its sort. “Turns out they shopped from three cars in our road that I’m aware of,” the resident wrote.

Another car owner on the Facebook page claimed that she too had experienced this heartbreaking experience. “I can report exactly the same, and they took our own bricks from our paving to stabilise the car. I now know about four [cars’] wheels [that have been] stolen in the same area,” the person wrote.

The TVNW can be contacted on 084 383 1814.

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