Police investigating Ford heist

Barberton Ford Dealership where four brand-new vehicles said to be worth about R1,8 million were stolen.

Speaking to Barberton Times, Jean Coetzee, dealer principal at Barberton Ford, said the thieves gained entrance by cutting through the roof and ceiling.

READ: People of Emjindini fed up with crime

He said the robbery was captured by CCTV cameras which are installed at the dealership.
“On the footage, which can’t be released to the public at the moment for insurance- investigation purposes, the robbers’ faces could clearly be seen as they ripped out telephone lines, alarm wires and the CCTV network cable at around 22:00,” said Coetzee.

READ: Robbers return to scene of the crime just to be arrested

He said the Hi-Tech security alarm first went off at around 20:00 but when officers went to the dealership to investigate, they found that everything was fine, including the guard posted there.

When management checked the CCTV footage later, they realised that at around 23:00 the thieves were already inside the premises trying to cut open one of the two safes with an angle grinder. However, they did not succeeded.
“After failing to cut open the first safe, they proceeded to the next one where the car keys are kept. They did manage to cut it open between 23:00 and 00:00 and took the keys for the cars they had targeted,” continued Coetzee.

He said after the robbers (two who are visible on the CCTV footage) had gained entrance. They could be seen using a mobile phone, presumably calling the five drivers that were seen entering the premises later.

This is after they had bound the hands of the security guard on duty with shoelaces and dumped him in the back of one of the bakkies that was parked in the showroom.

“The first car seen exiting the showroom is a Ford Kuga, followed by three double-cab bakkies and a Everest SUV. They, however, failed to drive-off with one of the bakkies. Because the vehicles are brand new, there are no registration plates on the cars,” added Coetzee.

Following the failure by the guard on duty to report to Hi-Tech control for several hours, a patrol vehicle was dispatched to the dealership upon which the robbery was discovered and the bound guard was found. A search for the vehicles was conducted but to no avail.

Capt Jabu Ndubane, Barberton police spokesman, said a case of business robbery has been opened and the investigation is continuing.

No one has been arrested as yet. This is the first incident of its kind experienced by the dealership.

Richard Nkosi

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