A church warden who was investigating the theft of a wheelie bin at the kerk in Hanover Park became a victim of crime herself when her car was stolen on Tuesday evening.
Lorna Payne, 30, parked her grey Nissan bakkie in the driveway of the St Dominic’s Catholic Church and went to look for the missing bin, but when she returned, her vehicle was missing.
She says the skelms silently pushed it out of the church yard and must have started it somewhere down the road and driven away as she didn’t hear anything.
“It is upsetting, if they had to start the bakkie, we would have heard, but they literally pushed it out of the premises,” says Lorna.
“I hope we find it, it has been a family car for 20 years and I use it for my business.
“Without it I have no source of income. I really need to find it.”
She says the church has been targeted by thieves several times.
Reverend Ronald Dias says a gate was stolen about two months ago, then concrete slabs and now a wheelie bin and Lorna’s bakkie.
"We have been facing a number of criminal elements and it is very disturbing that these people target the house of the Lord, and to steal a car shows how serious the issue is,“ he says.
“A case has been opened, I hope this bakkie is found soon. We know we are in a very volatile area but targeting a church is causing unnecessary financial difficulties for us and it’s compromising our safety."
Lorna says the Nissan bakkie has a custom-made canopy, its left side mirror is slightly skew and there is a noticeable dent at the back, close to the exhaust pipe.
SAPS’ Colonel Andre Traut says the bakkie is still missing: “This office can confirm that a theft of a motor vehicle was reported on Tuesday between 6pm and 8.55pm. The matter is under investigation by Philippi police.”