Cape Town – Police have warned people to be careful when responding to adverts on social media, after three college students were kidnapped and robbed by “car sellers” in Cape Town.
A 23-year-old man from Lotus River saw a Facebook post about a Volkswagen for sale for under R20 000.The student, who asked to remain anonymous, says the car was being sold by someone in Manenberg on the “Cars Under 20k” Facebook page. The advert has since been removed.
The mechanical engineering student says he was on his way home from a job interview in Bellville last Friday, when his friends suggested they check out the car before going home.“My friend knew where the street was in Manenberg, so we went there,” he said.
The seller told them to go to 102 Great Fish Street in the area. But there wasn’t a number 102, so I called him back and he told me, no, it’s number 22, and that I heard wrong.”
At the new address, two men came up to them and got into their car.
“The guy opened the door and asked what we are doing here. I told him that I’m coming to look for the car.
“When I turned around I felt a cold thing against my head. Then I knew he had a gun,” the emotional young man said.
He recognised the armed man from his Facebook profile picture.
The robbers ordered them to drive and poked fun at them: “They said we were stupid, and asked us for the [sale] money.”
He says they circled the block for five minutes before the robbers got out, took their cellphones and R80 cash.
“They told us: nou kan julle saak gaan maak’ (Now you can go lay a charge),” he added.
The students drove straight to the Manenberg police station where they reported the incident.
Police spokesperson Captain FC Wan Wyk said swift action by police saw the suspects nabbed within three days.
He said: “The two suspects, aged 27 and 53, were arrested and charged with robbery with a firearm. They appeared [on Tuesday] in the Athlone Magistrate’s Court.”
Van Wyk warned people to make sure adverts on social media are legitimate before responding.
“The young people involved were fortunate to escape unharmed,” he added.