A car thief was caught by a Hartbeespoort resident and three car guards after a high-speed car chase to Pretoria on Friday.
Frikkie Knoetze, Emmanuel Rokho, Elias Malunga and Given Mayepa jumped into two vehicles and chased the car thieves who had just stolen a Ford Eco Sport around 11:00 at Village Mall.
Frikkie was on his way to his vehicle when Emmanuel rushed up to him and told him car thieves were getting away. “He said ‘jump, let’s go’, and I jumped,” Emmanuel told Kormorant. Elias and Given had become aware of the theft and saw Frikkie and Emmanuel giving chase. “I had driven my sister’s car to work that day and I told Given we must go help,” Elias said. The car thieves had split into two groups. The thieves in the stolen Ford Eco Sport were way ahead and Frikkie and the car guards set off after the other two in a Toyota Hilux.
“I only drive a Chevrolet bakkie, but we managed to stay with the thieves who were speeding and overtaking other vehicles along Van der Hoff Road all the way to Pretoria,” Frikkie said. Near Mahem, the thieves swerved into a fuel station, lost control of their vehicle and crashed into three other cars. The driver jumped out and ran away but Frikkie, Emmanuel, Given and Elias caught the passenger. By this time Aequitas Security and the police were also on their way and arrived at the scene soon after. The thief was arrested by the police. The stolen Ford Eco Sport was later recovered in Mabopane.
According to Emmanuel, the thieves had followed the driver of the Ford Eco Sport into Village Mall’s parking area and parked alongside him. “While he was walking away, one of the thieves distracted him and another pick-pocketed his keys. I saw them when they were getting into the customer’s car,” Emmanuel said.
Frikkie said he didn’t hesitate when Emmanuel told him the thieves were getting away. “I just thought let’s go get them. Emmanuel jumped on the back of the bakkie and we gave chase,” he laughed. Elias and Given told Kormorant that they couldn’t let their friend go alone. “We had to help them. We had to make sure they are ok.”
Accolades for the four brave men have poured in the past week.
It is not the first time that Village Mall’s car guards have successfully caught car thieves, and it will not be the last Emanuel, Elias and Given told Kormorant. “They must stay out of our parking area!”