Greenwood Park SAPS is warning residents to be alert as they have had a number of reported incidents where unknown people represent themselves as police officials.
“These bogus police officers would request details regarding stolen motor vehicles from the complainants, demand a cash deposit to be paid into an account that he had given the details of,” said communications officer, Captain J Slater. According to Slater, the fake officer would tell the person that he has to pay the deposit to get his car back after it has been recovered. Once the money is deposited, the scammer disappears.
“We want to make it clear that no police official will ask you to deposit cash to get your car. When your car has been recovered, your investigation officer will call you to the police station as per the police process. That is where you will be informed and advised of what to do next and your investigating officer will assist you until your car has been returned,” said Slater. The residents are warned that the criminals pose as police officers by using police equipment, uniforms, identity cards and certainly blue lights on their vehicles. “In the past we have even had extreme cases where they have cloned police cars and this is something that is clearly outlawed in the Police Services Act and it makes it a criminal offence to be in possession of anything that gives the impression that one is an officer of the law when they are not,” explained Slater.
In a recent incident in Avoca, Metheran Road, a carjacking occurred where the suspects were wearing police uniform. It is alleged that the complainant was sitting in her car when an unknown male pulled her out and instructed her to lie down on the ground. There were three suspects of which one of them wore a police uniform and armed with firearm. They all jumped to her car and drove away.
“Members of the community need to know how to differentiate between the police and a bogus policeman and if you suspect anything about the way they dressed, please do not allow them in your property or vehicle,” said Slater.