The infamous “Dik Skelm” has struck again — and been arrested again.
Convicted fraudster Portia Goodwin was caught on camera allegedly selling invalid shopping vouchers at a garage in Mowbray last Thursday.
But she was bust after employees recognised her and laid a charge.
However, she was released yesterday after prosecutors couldn’t make out what was written on her police docket.
Goodwin walked out of the Wynberg Magistrates’ Court a somewhat free woman without having to appear.
The 31-year-old was bust near her home in Manenberg on Saturday after she allegedly sold a bogus R2 000 Pick n Pay voucher to an employee at the Caltex garage in Klipfontein Road in Mowbray, opposite the Red Cross Children’s Hospital.
The fraudster was jailed in June 2015 by the Kuils River Magistrates’ Court, after the mother of one pleaded guilty to one count of fraud, for selling a R1 300 Pick n Pay voucher to the manager of a Kraaifontein fisheries, who later found out the voucher was only worth R500.
She was sentenced to 18 months in prison, suspended for five years.
Since then, the Daily Voice has reported on a string of other cases all over Cape Town, after several victims of the dik ding came forward.
Garage employees said they were barred from speaking to the media, but a source says the accused walked into the garage’s shop and told staff she had been sent by the manager to drop off the voucher and collect the money.
An unsuspecting worker handed over the voucher.
As Goodwin was leaving, a colleague recognised her from previous reports in the Daily Voice and sounded the alarm.
Police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk confirmed Goodwin had been arrested on charges of fraud.
And yesterday her name was on the court roll for new cases but shortly after noon, a relaxed Goodwin strolled out of the courthouse.
The National Prosecuting Authority’s spokesman, Eric Ntabazalila confirms the accused was released but stresses that the charges have not been withdrawn.
“The prosecutor could not read what had been written in the statement in the docket,” he says.
“He cannot make up something about the accused and what he presents in court has to be what is in the statement in the docket.
“So he has asked the investigating officer to rather type the statement and give it to him and the case will be enrolled again.”
The Daily Voice has been of fraudster’s gat for two years:
Ever since Portia Goodwin appeared on the Daily Voice’s radar, she’s been connected to a string of incidents.
The notorious Manenberg resident’s modus operandi involves conning shop staff looking for a bargain into buying invalid shopping vouchers, usually using a sob story.
The 31-year-old was first exposed in December 2014 when a Kraaifontein fisheries owner captured Goodwin on CCTV cameras, swindling an employee out of money.
On December 17, 2014, Goodwin was arrested for allegedly defrauding a Kraaifontein fisheries owner out of R1 300 by selling him a R3 000 voucher, which was only worth R500.
In April 2015, she pleaded guilty to two charges of fraud in Kuils River Magistrates’ Court.
On June 2, 2015, she was sentenced to 18 months in jail, suspended for five years, which she served out as house arrest.
But three months later, in September, she was bust by Strand cops on two counts of fraud.
In November 2015, an Elsies River bottle store owner claimed Goodwin swindled him out of R1 000 by selling him a fake Pick n Pay voucher.
In December 2015,
Goodwin allegedly duped a 75-year-old shopkeeper in Rylands, Athlone, after she pretended to speak to the owner, and got the old man to hand over R2 000 for an invalid Woolworths voucher.
On January 12, 2016, Goodwin conned an employee at Hart Nursery in Ottery out of R1 300 by duping him into thinking his boss had ordered a R2 000 Pick n Pay voucher.
The next day the mother of one was nabbed by Strand police on a warrant of arrest after she failed to appear at the Strand Magistrates’ Court on two counts of fraud.
Five months later, Goodwin had somehow managed to slip out of Pollsmoor Prison and had seemingly gone back to her old ways after a bartender in Elsies River reported being scammed by her. Edward Chauke, 30, said on June 11, he gave Goodwin R1 000 for a R2 000 voucher.
Strand Magistrates’ Court said according to their records, Goodwin was meant to be in custody.
She gave police the slip until Saturday, when cops nabbed her in Manenberg.