A Limpopo man, 36, was sentenced to 17 years in prison for breaking into a Ford dealership and stealing six new vehicles worth over R3 million.

Tsununu Ahmad Maphosa, 36, was sentenced on Wednesday in Musina Regional Court for burglary and vehicle theft.

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Maphosa, who was denied bail after his arrest, was sentenced to four years in prison for breaking into a business and 15 years for car theft. Two of the four years for the breaking and entering charge will run concurrently with the 15-year sentence, giving him an effective 17-year sentence.

This sentence stems from an incident that occurred in the early hours of December 9, 2017.

Maphosa and his associates broke into a Ford dealership in Phalaborwa and stole six Ford vehicles, including two Ford Everests and four Ford Rangers, according to Hawks spokesperson Captain Matimba Maluleke.

According to Maluleke, the incident was immediately reported to police, and a case was opened.

The case was then referred to the Hawks, who recovered five of the six stolen vehicles on the same day they were reported stolen in the Masisi area near the Limpopo River, according to Maluleke.

He claimed that the vehicles were stopped before crossing the Limpopo River into Zimbabwe, and that all of the drivers fled. Maphosa was apprehended in the area with the help of locals while attempting to flee.

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