Another building ‘hijacker’ arrested

ACCUSED: Alleged property hijacker Jonathan Constable is still in police custody after being arrested along with two alleged accomplices earlier this year.

Quick thinking by the City of Johannesburg’s housing investigations unit has resulted in the arrest of another suspected property hijacker.

The news of the arrest was released by the city on January 26.

The suspect, a 38-year-old Ethiopian national, was allegedly involved in hijacking a building at 63 Rissik Street in inner city Johannesburg last year.

Read: House hijacking alleged three to appear again on February 1

The man was scheduled to appear in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court this week.

The arrest came after City Power officials went to the property in Rissik Street to disconnect illegally connected electricity.

Suspecting that the building was hijacked, they alerted the city’s Group Forensic and Investigations Service (GFIS) and the JMPD.

The GFIS moved quickly to try to locate the owner, and when they arrived at the building along with the JMPD, a man believed to have been collecting rent from tenants was seen fleeing the scene.

A tenant residing in the building spotted the suspect near a building not far from where the officials were, and informed the team.

The man was immediately arrested. When questioned about the ownership of the building, he indicated that it belongs to a certain Mr Mahomed. Mr Mahomed had in turn leased it out to him last year. He further indicated that he was not paying Mr Mahomed because the agreement was that he first renovate the building.

The arrest brings to six the number of alleged property hijackers that have been apprehended in the past three months.

According to the city, 13 hijacked properties have so far been handed back to their rightful owners. In total, about 164 buildings have been confirmed as hijacked in the city.

City mayor Herman Mashaba said he was pleased with the strides made in addressing the challenge.

Also Read:

No case, says Constables lawyers

BREAKING NEWS: Property alleged kingpin denied bail

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Gopolang Chawane

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