Car theft and break-ins are rife in Cape Town’s city centre. You leave your car in the safety of an unfamiliar car guard, only to return to an empty parking space or a broken window. Everyone pleads innocence.
But Tshepo Molaoele, a car guard based at the entrance to The Company’s Gardens in St Johns Street, reported the potential theft of a Citi Golf when he noticed another Citi Golf driving around slowly.
27-years-old and born in Rustenberg in North West Province, Molaoele chose to move to Cape Town in an effort to look for better opportunities and, although he has a matric education, being a car guard was his only chance at survival.
He earns between R30 and R300 a day, working for 12 hours starting at 6am.
According to GroundUp, this is what happened:
The car stopped and four men got out. They approached a similar looking Citi Golf, but one of the men was holding a screwdriver. This is when Molaoele realised that they were going to steal the car.
Feeling uneasy, he approached them and said “No gentlemen. What are you doing there?”
The would be thieves noticed Molaoele and offered him R1,000 for his silence. Tshepo currently stays at the Youth Solutions Shelter in District 6 where he pays R850 month. A R1,000 would cover his rent and leave him with extra spending money. Yet Molaoele decided against it.
“No gentlemen,” he said. “I’ve got a problem because there are a lot of police.”
Thinking on his feet, Tshepo asked them to leave and return a little later when the police had left. The men initially refused, but eventually they accepted his idea and drove off.
When they were out of sight, Tshepo ran off to The Big Box, a board game cafe close by, and told them the situation. They called the Central City Improvement District (CCID).
Within minutes members of the CCID arrived, and with the help of the police ran a sting operation.
Dressed up as car guards they waited for the men to return, and when they did, all four of them were promptly apprehended in the act of trying to steal a car. Tshepo was then taken to the police station to write a police report.
How’s that for an effective operation?
I really hope there are no further consequences, given that gangsters are crazy when it comes to revenge.
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