A hijacker who targeted people selling their vehicles on Gumtree was sentenced to 30 years in prison last week. Shannon Naidoo (32) faced three counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances related to separate hijacking incidents, allegedly with an accomplice named Sipho, notes a Sunday Tribune report.

Sipho’s identity and involvement are yet to be confirmed by police and he is still at large.

Naidoo pleaded guilty to the charges when he appeared before Magistrate Fariedha Mohamed and provided a written confession which was read out by his Legal Aid attorney, Sanjeev Juglall.

The court heard that the pair trawled through Gumtree for victims, posed as potential buyers and set up meetings with sellers at public places. In each of three instances, Naidoo asked to test drive the vehicle with Sipho seated at the back. While on the test run, Sipho would produce a firearm and rob the victims of other personal possessions like cash and cellphones.

The victim would then be dumped on the roadside, before Naidoo and his partner drove off with the vehicle.

Naidoo admitted that he and Sipho used force, violence and a firearm to commit the crimes. Mohamed said the offences that Naidoo had committed were serious, very prevalent and society was fed up.

You pleaded guilty because you realised that you can’t get away with your offences.

She sentenced him to 15 years’ imprisonment on each count and ruled that the sentence for counts two and three run concurrently.

‘It is an effective term of 30 years’ imprisonment,’ said the magistrate.

Full Sunday Tribune report (subscription needed)