Beach hero tracks thief

2014-08-12 00:00

A HOMELESS man who tracked a thief’s footprints in the sand has helped police arrest the culprit.

Siya Matulela, who lives with his wife and two-year-old daughter under an umbrella on Virginia beach sprang into action after he heard of the theft on Saturday.

Hours earlier, the thief had nicked overalls, boots and a bag belonging to workers at the Virginia Beach Development construction site.

Once the workers became aware of the theft they alerted the site’s security guards.

“We were asked by the security guards if we knew who stole from the site so we went to help,” said Matulela.

“We noticed footprints in the sand and traced them back to one of the other men who sleeps further down on the beach.”

The security guards confronted the man and then handed him over to police.

Matulela lives on the beach with his girlfriend Geraldine Ganesin, their two-year-old daughter Angel and their dog Patsy.

Ganesin, who has been living on the beach for seven years with Matulela, said that they sleep on the beach because they have no other option.

“Siya sells golf balls he finds at the Beachwood Country Club and that’s how we survive. We aren’t here to trouble anyone,” said Ganesin.

Dean Breedt, the manager at the construction site, said that they had never been bothered by the people who live close to the construction site.

“We are usually pretty well looked after by these people. It’s the guys who live further out who trouble us,” said Breedt.

Delon Naidoo from Mega Assets Security Services said they had contacted the police several times without any success.

“We called the police but they didn’t come so we had to apprehend the thief and take him to the police station,” said Naidoo.

Naidoo said they had recovered most of the workers’ possessions.

Virginia ward councillor Shaun Ryley said there was no plan to remove homeless people from the area. “The issue needs to be addressed and the police are constantly checking up on them,” said Ryley.

He said the major issue they faced was littering.

Ryley said Matulela was a hero because he did not allow a crime to take place and helped to make an arrest.


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