Mall marauder loses cops with hijack

The driver of a gold Toyota Fortuner allegedly involved in several car break-ins at some of East London’s busiest malls narrowly escaped arrest after a high-speed chase.

The driver and a suspected accomplice managed to hijack a BMW after the dramatic chase ended with the Fortuner crashing in Vincent last night.

CRIME: A gold Toyota Fortuner was recovered by the members of the police flying squad in Vincent, East London, last night after reports that the vehicle was involved in mall parking lot thefts Picture: SUPPLIED

Police are hoping to lift fingerprints from the abandoned vehicle, which has a Gauteng registration, to give them a break-through in their investigation into the spate of mall burglaries.

The high-speed chase came as Beacon Bay police were investigating several cases of theft out of vehicles following an increase in smash-and-grab crimes targeting cars parked in one of the suburb’s busiest malls.

East London police spokeswoman Warrant Officer Hazel Mqala said three cases were reported after three cars were broken into at the Beacon Bay Crossing Mall in two days.

“We can confirm that two cases were reported on Thursday and one on Wednesday.”

The flying squad unit – which received a major boost this week with four brand-new high performance vehicles – responded to a hijacking complaint in Vincent Gardens, which was when the chase ensued, the spokeswoman said.

Mqala said the suspects had managed to speed off in a stolen BMW.

“The police members are still trying to track the identity and details of the hijacked vehicle,” said Mqala.

Crime Spotter Buffalo City reported last night that stolen property was recovered from the car and encouraged victims to go to the Cambridge police station to identify their stolen belongings.

However, Mqala could not confirm this last night.

Yesterday two cars were broken into at the Beacon Bay Crossing mall and cellphones and laptops were stolen.

Before last night’s turn of events, social media was abuzz with the gold Fortuner allegedly seen looking for potential victims at the nearby Retail Park and Spargs malls’ parking bays.

Mqala said customers felt unsafe, so police had increased visibility with patrols at Retail Park, Spargs and some other malls.


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