Police Warn: Facebook Robbers

Detective Constable Joshua Williams. Photo: SAPS

Detective Constable Joshua Williams worked the case. Photo: SAPS

Think twice before buying something through social media, the South African Police Service urged yesterday. The warning came in the wake of a scam that led to a young man and his two friends being robbed. The 23-year old man from Grassy Park responded to a post on Facebook in which a Volkswagen Golf was being offered for sale for R25 000.

According to police spokesperson Captain F.C. van Wyk the post appeared legitimate. It showed pictures of the Volkswagen Golf and gave a description of the car. The young man contacted the seller and agreed to meet him at a house in Greatfish Road in Manenberg. The young man took two friends from college with him.

What went down in Greatfish Road
But from the moment that they arrived in Greatfish Road things became convoluted. The address that had been given could not be found, and the young men were directed to a house further down the street. When they got to that house two men got into their car. The one man threatened them with a firearm and proceeded to rob them of their cellphones and R80 in cash. They then instructed their victims to drive them around Manenberg. They finally got out of the car in Jordan Road.

One cop’s dogged determination
The case was assigned to Detective Constable Joshua Williams, who worked it with dogged determination. Notwithstanding the public’s reluctance to give information a breakthrough was made and Williams was given the names of two men who might be involved in selling cars.

He made his first arrest the following day, and he arrested the second man in the early morning hours of Monday. The men, (27 and 53) were charged with robbery with a firearm. They appeared in Athlone magistrate’s court yesterday. The South African Police Service has urged people to be careful of advertisements on social media and to verify the legitimacy of the sale. The young men were robbed of items amounting to only R2500 and they managed to escape unharmed – but it could have turned out much worse.