Trio return from beachfront meal to find belongings stolen from hire car
A dream holiday for three young German tourists turned sour yesterday when the rental car they had just picked up was broken into along Port Elizabeth’s busy beachfront. Joana Hartmann, Greta Lochte and Marieke Berndmeyer, all aged 20 and from Hanover in Germany, had arrived in town by bus yesterday morning after spending a few days in Aliwal North.
They were having something to eat at White Tiger at the Dolphins Leap complex, and watching dolphins frolicking in the surf, when personal items were stolen from the car.
When they returned to their hired Hyundai i10, parked directly opposite where they had been, they found the key would not turn when they tried to unlock a door.
“I noticed a pair of my flip-flops lying on the ground. I thought I forgot them there when I changed shoes when we arrived [at White Tiger],” Hartmann said.
They then noticed that a large red backpack and smaller black rucksack with neon orange stripes were missing from the back seat.
Lochte said it looked as though the bags had been rifled through because a make-up bag was left on the seat.
“I don’t know how no one noticed someone breaking into the car. It was parked right by the water, there were people walking around and surfers, but no one saw anything,” Hartmann said.
“When we asked the man controlling the car park what happened, he said he didn’t notice anything.”