Security company Fidelity says thanks to Vumacam’s surveillance street cameras it has recovered 19 stolen vehicles in Gauteng over the last three months.
This comes after the company expanded its partnership with Vumacam to roll out a further 1,400 cameras on poles in the province.
Fidelity Services Group CEO Wahl Bartmann said Vumacam’s infrastructure has allowed Fidelity to better integrate analytics on flagged crime incidents across all Vumacam cameras nationally.
“The results in Gauteng have been extremely positive. In the last three months alone we have seen a dramatic increase in the number of positive recoveries,” Bartmann stated.
Bartmann said they recovered four hijacked vehicles in March, and in three of the incidents the suspects were handed over to SAPS for further investigation.
In April, a further five vehicles were recovered, while in May Fidelity recovered 10 more vehicles.
Bartmann said that a number of recovered vehicles had cloned licence plates and were used in robberies.
On 13 April, for example, a Volkswagen Golf 7 GTi with a cloned license plate was picked up in Rosebank after being cited for truck hijacking and fraud.
The vehicle was recovered, while three suspects were taken in for questioning and two handguns were seized.
Later that same month, a Ford Focus was involved in attempted theft of motor vehicle at Lifestyle Crossing, Little Falls.
Following the theft, Fidelity loaded the vehicle on its system, but the plates came out as having no ownership.
“Shortly after the vehicle was loaded, we started receiving hits on the cameras. The hits were sent through and our Fidelity and SAPS teams started chasing the vehicle which was later pulled over and the driver arrested,” Bartmann said. The teams also found signal jammers in the car.
They tested the VIN number on the vehicle and found it matched an open case from Hillbrow SAPS.
Fidelity said the ability of the Vumacam system to match a car and number plate and scan its history was extremely effective.
“In Dainfern/Fourways, for example, there had been numerous incidents and a list of vehicles was sent through and loaded on the system,” Fidelity stated.
“It did not take long for one of the cameras to pick up a BMW and find that the vehicle history suggested that this vehicle was seen at every incident.”
The Fidelity team monitored the movements of the vehicle carefully before it was spotted moving from Observatory to Fourways in early May.
“Our teams were immediately alerted – including our Specialised Intervention Unit, the SecureDrive Ops and Drone teams, JMPD Undercover, Douglasdale SAPS and the estate teams,” Fidelity said.
“The vehicle was successfully recovered with one suspect and approximately ten stolen laptops and cameras were found in his possession.”
Fidelity said there was no doubt that an integrated approach and sharing of real time information was paying dividends in matching stolen and cloned cars.
“It is clear the cameras are a huge support to the broader crime prevention efforts and it is encouraging to see how effective this solution is coordinating law enforcement and private security company solutions to effectively deal with criminal activity,” Bartmann said.