Guards held for theft

2013-10-08 00:00

TWO municipal security guards who claimed to have been robbed at gunpoint by five thugs who made off with a drum of copper cable belonging to council, have been arrested after police saw through their story.

The bogus robbery was alleged to have occurred at the Msunduzi Municipality’s stores in Havelock Road on Sunday night.

The security guards are alleged to have attempted to steal copper cable worth approximately R150 000, which was later found on a property next to the warehouse.

In June this year, robbers allegedly held up Msunduzi security guards at the municipal stores two nights in a row and stole copper cable worth R200 000.

This, along with other thefts, had prompted council to tighten security by installing CCTV cameras at the municipal stores and the city hall.

The decision was taken at a full council sitting in June, after it emerged that there had been serious cases of theft and robbery at these premises.

Msunduzi municipal manager Mxolisi Nkosi said: “We are aware of the arrest and the pending investigation by the police”.

However, Nkosi said it was still too early to link or to separate the two incidents. “We applaud the police for their work,” he said.

Provincial police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane said on Sunday night at about 10.30 pm, police were alerted to a business robbery at the municipal stores.

“It was alleged by the men that they were conducting their routine patrols when they were confronted by five unknown men, armed with firearms, who ordered them to open the doors to the warehouse and they then removed a drum of copper cable,” said Zwane.

The security guards alleged that the suspects had fled with the drum.

But, the alert police realised that the story about the robbery was fabricated and the drum containing copper cables to the value of approximately R150 000 was found at premises next to the warehouse.

“The security guards were immediately arrested and detained. A bolt cutter, believed to have been used to gain entry into the premises, was also found in their possession,” said Zwane.

He said it was believed that during the course of their duties, the guards may have broken into the warehouse by cutting the padlock with a bolt cutter and then rolled the drum of copper cable to premises next door.

“They thereafter contacted the police and reported the robbery,” he said.

He said the arrested suspects, aged between 26 and 29 years old, will make a court appearance in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court shortly on a charge of housebreaking, theft and perjury.

“Police believe that they may be linked to previous robberies at the warehouse,” he said.

The KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant-General Mmamonnye Ngobeni issued a stern warning to all those contemplating opening false cases to cover their misdeeds, they will be charged accordingly and face the stipulated penalties from the courts.

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