Furniture scam cost resident dearly

Rocklands resident Olivia Fortuin was scammed by a man who said he belongs to a furniture company.

A Rocklands resident says a smooth-talking conman who claimed to be from a furniture company cleaned her home out of R20 000 worth of electronic goods

Olivia Fortuin was furious when she returned from work on Friday June 3 to hear that her TV, laptop and Xbox had been stolen from her Aries Street home.

He daughter, Wataniya, 12, was at home at about 3pm when a man in a white Golf stopped in front of the house and asked if Olivia lived there.

“The man was friendly and said he was from a furniture company. He then mentioned my mother’s name and listed the items he had to pick up,” said Wataniya.

“He also informed me that my mother knows and gave permission for him to collect them. He said I have to give him a blanket to cover the stuff.

“I then went upstairs, because he asked me to fetch a furniture card in my mother’s room. He kept saying that it is important for her to have it and I must find it,” she said.

Wataniya said that when she had come downstairs the man was gone and so were the electronic goods.

“Everything happened so quick, I wasn’t even two minutes in the room.

“When I came down, the items were gone, and I immediately called my mother. She then said she gave no person permission to take the items.”

Ms Fortuin said footage from a neighbour’s security camera showed the man hurrying into her house, trying to keep a low profile.

“I was very upset, but I am happy that my child wasn’t harmed. It bothers me that the man knew my name and what items were in my house. It is ridiculous that thieves are pretending to be furniture representatives.

“For the past few weeks, I cannot sleep well because I know the man was in my house. I am even more paranoid for my children because my daughter was traumatised by the incident,” she said.

Ms Fortuin believes the man will try his luck elsewhere in the area and she wants to warn other Mitchell’s Plain residents.

“After the incident, another woman contacted me to say it happened to her too. I hope the police catch this man, and, parents, please brief your children when they are at home,” she said.

Mitchells Plain police spokeswoman Constable Nozuko Makwayiba said these types of crime were common in Mitchells’ Plain.

“Our advice is to not allow strangers inside the house and to not hand over any goods of another person, rather make an arrangement for them to come when the owner is at home.

“Take details of persons who are claiming to be sent and hand them to the owner for contact later. Confirm with the owner if there’s any person coming to fetch any item or goods,” she said.