Witsies victims of a “crime syndicate”

A total of 4 cars and 46 cellphones have been stolen from Wits University staff and students since the beginning of February.

Two cars have been stolen from Wits in the last two days alone and Campus Control say they believe “a crime syndicate” is operating on campus.

Wits Security and Liaisons manager Lucky Khumela told Wits Vuvuzela that the vehicles were stolen from West Campus parking lots around lunchtime on Tuesday afternoon.

In one incident, a car was stopped by Campus Control at the Yale Road exit on suspicion it was stolen. “The culprits drove through the closed boom and broke it to avoid security”, Khumela said.

He added that four cars, all Toyotas, have been stolen from Wits in the last three weeks from the university grounds.

“The culprits drove through the closed boom and broke it to avoid security,”

Cell phone theft

The number of stolen cellphones in the last two weeks rose to 46 as another 3 were stolen yesterday.

According to Khumela, 16 cellphones were stolen during the Freshers’ Party last Friday night along with 20 during Orientation Week. Khumela believes these incidents are the work of “petty thieves,” working together with a group of criminals.

“There have been incidences where students have been dancing at a party, the perpetrator pretends to dance with the victim and then hugs him or her and the phone is then stolen”.

Campus Control say they are working in conjunction with the South African Police Services (SAPS), to find the perpetrators and “bring justice to the campus”. Three people have so far been arrested in connection with the stolen phones.

Khumela has instructed Campus Control to do spot-check’s at the campus exit points on “vulnerable vehicles” to ensure they are not stolen.

“I ask staff and students to please cooperate with Campus Control when you asked to switch on and off your car. If a car has been stolen it cannot be switched off”.

Suspicious or criminal activity can be reported to Campus Control on (011) 717-4444 or lucky.khumela@wits.ac.za