Beach theft: sleuth loses camera, court documents

2012-09-10 00:00

A DURBAN legal investigator lost an expensive camera and hundreds of documents relevant to several court cases when his backpack was snatched on the Durban beachfront on Saturday.

Snowy Smith works for Fair Civil Law, which helps people with civil cases. He said the bag was stolen at South Beach at around 2 pm as he sat chatting to a friend, Mike Bloxham.

Smith put his bag next to him as he and Bloxham sat on a wall. His attention was distracted for a minute or two while Bloxham showed him a newspaper report.

When he reached for his camera to photograph the article, he realised the bag was gone.

Aside from his R18 000 Nikon camera, the bag also contained an expensive mountain climber’s jacket and more than 300 documents needed in four cases that will be in Durban courts this week.

They include sworn statements and documents served on lawyers.

Smith had copied them at a library before heading to the beach.

“We will have to ask for postponments until we can assemble the documents again,” he said yesterday.

He said the beachfront was no longer safe and that surfers don’t dare leave their possessions on the beach.

He said there were no police officers nearby when his bag was snatched.

eThekwini Metro spent millions improving the beachfront before the World Cup tournament, specifically making it more spacious to deter criminals.

Police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane said there were frequent patrols on the beachfront and crime had stabilised there.

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