A plea has been made through FleetWatch for truck operators to please start marking their truck tyres and rims as was common practice in days gone by.
The plea comes from Dup Du Preez, forensic investigator for the Zimele Group and truck stop manager of the Vaal 1-Stop near the Wilge Plaza on the N3.
The reason is because truck tyre theft has increased substantively all around the country and when tyres are recovered, investigators are battling to nail the thieves as they are unable to link the tyres to a company or a specific case.
“It doesn’t help us to recover tyres and open a possession case. We want to nail them on theft not possession. Tyres should be branded by operators and a register kept of the serial numbers; so too with the rims. This will go a long way in helping us win this fight,” says Du Preez.
Without going into full details of the law, say for example a bakkie is seized with stolen tyres. A case of possession of stolen property will be opened but that is not enough.
“Theft must have a complainant and proof must be provided that the tyres were stolen. The onus is on the police to prove that they were stolen and where they were stolen. If we can identify the tyres to a case, we have a greater chance of arrests leading to a jail sentence. This in turn can lead to a reduction in this crime,” says Du Preez.
According to Du Preez, tyre thieves are highly skilled and can remove tyres in minutes. He and his colleagues have seen a huge spike in tyre theft cases around the country and he warns operators to take this crime seriously and introduce preventive measures such as tyre and rim branding to help beat this scourge.