Top cop in CBD cellphone chase drama

Pillay, 54, who was in civilian dress and in a private motor vehicle, fell victim to the nimble work of a thief, while he was stuck in heavy traffic on Retief street (between Hoosen Haffejee and Pietermaritz Street) on a Saturday afternoon. Giving chase for more than 15 minutes, the fit and lanky Pillay did not rest until he recovered his stolen cellphone.

“The traffic was heavy and at a standstill. I heard a knock on the window of the passenger side of the private vehicle I was driving in. The elderly man gestured as though he was
begging, and then as quick as a wink, a young man thrust his whole body through the open driver’s side window and grabbed my cellular phone that was on the
consul of the car.

“With my policeman’s instinct kicking in, I got out of the car in a flash and chased the young thief who was making his way through towards Berg
Street, weaving through the heavy traffic. While pursing him I shouted out to the crowd to catch him as he had stolen my phone. Not a single person responded to stop him. I eventually caught up with him after 15 minutes. I managed to grab my phone out of his hand while he tried to circle a minibus three times. By that time, a crowd of people had surrounded us and he managed to slip away,” said Pillay.

Determined to arrest the two men, Pillay said he was confident he would have them behind bars soon.“I can positively identify these two men as they have left an indelible picture in my memory. Had it been a cheap phone I might not have taken on the dangerous chase but this is a State phone and has a lot of stored information on it,” said Pillay.

He said he hoped his experience served as a warning to the public.“I am told from reliable sources that other members of the police and public have been robbed in this area. I am also told that women and the
elderly are the main targets of these criminal elements,” he added.

Shan Pillay

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