Grand theft auto at med school


Eight Toyota Yaris’s have been stolen since April at the Wits Medical School and Johannesburg College of Education (JCE).

Captain Mfabe, who is assigned to patrol the Parktown area, said they are investigating the matter as this statistic seems to show that Toyota Yaris’s are the targets.

The latest in the string of Toyota thefts in the area occurred on Friday, July 29.

Third year medical student, Michelle Hungwe, parked her Toyota Celica on Jubilee Road at 11am and when she “went back to it at 1pm, it was gone”. Hungwe, who called her car Dimitri, said she reported the case at the Hillbrow police station.

Informal car guard Peter Shilowa, who has worked on Jubilee and York roads for six years, said he noticed the car pulling out when he came back from watching cars further away.

“I asked the fruit sellers if the girl [Hungwe] had come back for her car. They didn’t know so I chased after it to see who was driving it,” he said.

Shilowa said the thief stopped next to a white Mercedes at a stop street, and he saw the drivers chatting before they sped off. When he saw Hungwe return for her car, he realised that it had been stolen and told her.

Wits Medical School Council (WMSC) said the issue concerning car theft in the area and the lack of student parking was being investigated. WMSC committee member Edward Naicker, speaking in his personal capacity, said four of his friends’ cars had been broken into this year.

“Three of them were stolen. Med school has put posters up warning students to be careful when parking on the road,” said Naicker.

He said more students have started to park on Jubilee Road this year “since Wits started a development on JCE which occupies previous parking spots”.

“Something really needs to be done soon because four cars stolen is four cars too many.”

JCE security guard Jabu Shabangu said he suspected two guys of scouting cars this week and reported it to Mfabe. He said Wits hired a security guard to watch the road but cancelled his contract as they could no longer pay him.

Since Wits started a development on the JCE campus, more students have started parking on the road this year. Naicker says parking spaces have been declining ever since the university took in more students in 2009.