Computer burlars caught in the act on CCTV

2010-06-18 00:00

FIVE men were arrested after Safe City surveillance cameras caught them stealing computers from a computer shop in Pietermaritzburg in the early hours of yesterday morning.

A camera operator immediately called the police, who pounced on them unexpectedly. The incident happened at a computer shop at the corner of Langalibalele and Buchanan streets at about 1 am.

The men had already loaded 14 computers when police arrived.

Safe City general manager Lucas Holtzhausen said the camera operator noticed a Nissan bakkie parked at the corner of the two streets. He said the operator only paid attention to the vehicle when its occupants started to act suspiciously.

“A short while later, the vehicle drove on to the pavement, and reversed to the entrance of a computer shop,” he said.

He said other people emerged from the shop carrying computer screens and PC towers to load them into the bakkie.

He said police arrived at the scene unexpectedly as the men were busy loading the computers.

“They had already loaded many computers when police arrived.

“They did not even try to escape. They were arrested and taken to Pietermaritzburg Central police station,” said Holtzhausen.

He said one of the men apparently broke into the shop.

Spotting the burglars is one of many successes of the Safe City project. Holtzhausen said about 10 suspects get arrested in a month after being filmed while breaking the law.

Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joey Jeevan confirmed the incident.

“They had already loaded 14 full computer sets into the bakkie,” she said.

“They told the police that they had been sent to fetch the computers, but one of the windows had been broken.”

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