How thieves went luxury car shopping over Christmas



The gang‚ who managed to get in and out of at least two luxury car dealerships without being detected‚ are suspected to already have a loot containing numerous Toyotas and Mercedes Benzs.

In the latest attack‚ reminiscent of scenes from the Hollywood blockbuster Gone in 60 Seconds‚ the gang hit Infiniti Motors in Melrose‚ Johannesburg in the early hours of Sunday morning‚ stealing a Toyota Land Cruiser‚ a Range Rover Evoque; BMW X6; and a Mercedes Benz ML400‚ ML 63 and G63.

The cars‚ three of which have been recovered‚ are said to be valued at nearly R15-million.

The dealership’s co-owner‚ Jason Nestadt declined to comment.

Less than a month ago‚ the Melrose Toyota dealership‚ situated opposite Infiniti Motors‚ was struck‚ allegedly by members of the same gang.

The dealership’s sales manager‚ David Broodryk‚ said it was clear that those who hit them knew exactly what they were doing.

“When they entered our premises they stuck to all the surveillance camera blind spots. They then made their way to our computer server room‚ which they took down (smashed)‚ rendering all the CCTV cameras completely blind.”

He said seven cars were taken‚ including Toyota Hilux bakkies and Toyota Land Cruisers.

“Fortunately four of the cars which were taken were recovered. We got one back from Harare‚ in Zimbabwe‚ and another was found in Parkhurst.”

Broodryk said the cars were retrieved through the help of tracking systems fitted to them.

He said he would not be surprised if those responsible for the Infiniti heist were the same crooks responsible for their attack.

“The modus operandi sounds very similar. Its clear these guys are jacked. They know the layout of the dealership‚ where all the cameras are‚ and how to bypass them by using their blind spots and that they have to take down the computer servers.”

Broodryk said he had heard of a number of other luxury and upmarket car dealerships which were “hit” over the Christmas period in Gauteng.

“Its clear that they had a shopping list to fill.”

Police spokesman‚ Captain Mavela Mosondo said that the Infiniti Motors theft occurred during the early hours of Sunday morning.

“It was discovered when the business owners arrived at the premises.”

He said the three cars – the Toyota Land Cruiser and two Mercedes Benzs – were recovered in Berea‚ Yeoville and Kensington.

“Our detectives are looking at a number of other luxury car dealership thefts to see if there are any links which can be made with the latest theft. We will be reviewing CCTV footage to see if we can identify the suspects.

“We are working on information which we have received on the latest theft and are hoping to make arrests soon‚” Masondo said.

He declined to comment on how the thieves were able to override specialised security systems fitted to the cars and escape without alarms being sounded.

“The investigation is at a very sensitive stage. We cannot say much. “

Private investigator Chad Thomas‚ of IRS Forensic Investigations‚ said it was guaranteed that these super cars‚ which are high performance vehicles‚ would have been stolen for a very specific buyer.

“Those behind this would have scoped the dealership previously‚ would have prepared the necessary fabricated vehicle papers‚” he said. Thomas said a crime like this would have needed the “right equipment” needed to override tracking devices.

“It would have all come down to how much time they had to disable any security devices on the cars.

Where the cars were to be taken is unknown. In the past these cars would have gone straight over the border‚ but if they can get the correct paperwork they can be sold for much locally‚” Thomas said.

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