A woman sent Pretoria police on a wild goose chase looking for her car which she had reported stolen, while the vehicle was safely parked at the shopping centre where she had left it.
The 46-year-old woman apparently forgot where she had parked the car, but insisted on reporting it stolen at a shopping mall in the east of Pretoria on Thursday, Pretoria East Rekord reports.
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The woman, originally from Krugersdorp, reported to the mall security that her vehicle had been stolen from the parking area.
Police spokesperson Captain Colette Weilbach said the woman could not remember where she parked her vehicle or which entrance she had used or the time she had entered the mall.
“The woman also did not have a parking ticket on her,” she said.
Weilbach said the police officers offered to drive through the parking areas to help her search for the vehicle, but the woman “rudely refused” any assistance and demanded police open a case immediately.
A vehicle theft case was opened and registered at the Brooklyn police station.
“Later the same evening, when most of the parking areas were empty, the woman’s vehicle was found. It had no damages,” said Weilbach.
“The vehicle was parked in a different parking level to the one mentioned in her statement.”
Weilbach said people who reported false cases of theft of a motor vehicle or theft out of a motor vehicle at shopping malls often got caught out when police found out they were lying.
“Making a false statement intentionally under oath is a very serious offence.
“People who are making themselves guilty of this are taking police officers away from real investigations and waste valuable police resources, she said.
“All reported cases are thoroughly investigated and if a person lied to the police by submitting a false statement or reporting a false case they will have to face the full force of the law.”
The woman was charged with defeating the ends of justice and is expected to appear in the Hatfield Community Court soon.
Her vehicle was taken to the SAPS vehicle pound because it was already circulated as stolen.