An imminent car theft was foiled and four suspects arrested on Jeffreys Bay’s main beach on Wednesday, thanks to the town’s regulated parking attendant (car guard) programme.
The incident happened when two parking attendants, Ferdinand and Lizo (real names withheld for their safety), noticed two men with what looked like electric car-jamming devices circling a car which had parked earlier. They noticed that these were not the legal occupants of the vehicle.
They also noticed there was a sedan parked across the road from the parking lot, with its occupants paying close attention to the action.
Lizo volunteered to keep an eye on the car while Ferdinand rushed to contact the police, municipal law enforcement and private security.
The two suspects and their get-away-car accomplices were quickly pounced upon and arrested. They remain in custody.
Kouga Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen said this was one of the good results of having legal and regulated parking attendants in the holiday town.
It is suspected that the suspects are part of a Port Elizabeth car theft and hijacking syndicate.
“Together with the police and private security companies, we arranged for training, vetting and positive identification of parking attendants as part of creating a more secure environment in our public parking spaces,” Van Lingen said.
“Although they work for themselves, the municipality and other stakeholders launched the programme to help them comply with the relevant legal requirements.”
There are about 20 parking attendants who have gone through the process in Jeffreys Bay and they are spread across the busiest spots in the town.
They will be wearing green and yellow bibs, emblazoned with the words “Car Watch”, as well as yellow caps and an identity photo on their chests with their names.
Van Lingen said the stakeholders were looking at expanding the programme to other towns in Kouga in due course.
IN THE PHOTO: Kouga Municipal Manager Charl du Plessis (left) and Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen congratulate law enforcement officer Johnny Hayward, one of the driving forces behind Jeffreys Bay’s Car Watch programme.