Car locks up alleged thief via remote

Hanti Otto
October 01 2008 at 07:09AM

An alleged car thief was immediately "imprisoned" by technology.
Hemman Mathebe, 23, of Mamelodi East, was trapped in a VW Golf 5 for at
least two hours while the driver was partying in a Hatfield club.
He pleaded not guilty to a charge of attempted vehicle theft.
Natasha Labotski told the Pretoria Regional Court that she and a friend
parked her mother's car across the street from the club on the night of
November 30 last year.
"When we got out of the car, I pressed the remote to lock it. We walked
across the street and, without looking, I pressed the remote again over
my shoulder in the direction of the car, just to make sure it was
locked," she recalled.
About two hours later someone came into the club looking for her.
They said someone was locked inside her car.
Police Inspector Stephanus Dreyer testified that they were patrolling
the streets when a security guard flagged them down, saying someone was
locked inside a vehicle. "The person inside panicked. We tried to open
the door, but couldn't. I told and gestured to him to open it from the
inside, but he gestured back that he couldn't," the inspector testified.
He sent someone to look for the driver of the car.
When Labotski arrived, she said she did not know the man inside the
vehicle. When she unlocked the door Mathebe got out.
"All he said was 'Sorry, sorry'," Dreyer said.
However, the accused claimed in court that he was a car guard and the
two girls had asked him if he would sit inside the vehicle and protect
it. He said they'd asked him if he would mind if they locked him in, and
he had agreed.
Labotski denied this, saying she did not ask anyone to sit inside the
Mathebe was earlier granted bail of R2 000, but remains in custody as he
could not pay. The trial was postponed to October for the evidence of
Labotski's friend.
The State also indicated that it might call an expert to testify on how
the locking system of the vehicle worked.
* *This article was originally published on page 1 of **Pretoria
News* <http://www.pretorianews.co.za/>* on October 01, 2008 *


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