‘Thirsty’ thieves hit again

2008-06-08 00:00

EVEN lawyers seem to have lost confidence that the South African police are able to fight crime.

Pietermaritzburg lawyer Solomzi Mdledle decided against opening a case after his laptop was stolen from his office building on May 29.

He and four other lawyers have offices on the same floor of Fedsure House in Church Street.

“You only open a case if you want to claim from insurance for the stolen property.

Police do their work if they want to. But most of the times they come (to the crime scene) and take statements, leave you with a case number and you hear nothing from them after that,” said Mdledle.

Thandile Mabidla, who is a receptionist for Mdledle and other lawyers, said on the day of the theft, three men came into the reception area pretending to be looking for legal assistance.

“After I referred one of them to a lawyer’s office, another one asked for water. A third one said he wanted to give some documents to the one who was with a lawyer.

“The one who asked to take in the documents later returned with the same documents, and he and the one who was sitting in reception left for the toilet. But they didn’t return, and the one who was with the lawyer also left immediately,” said Mabidla.

Later when Mabidla and a colleague wanted to charge the laptop they realised that it and cellphones were missing. She said it occurred to her that they had been stolen by the man who asked to take documents to the lawyer’s office.

“Apparently he put the laptop into the briefcase, which he said had documents,” said Mabidla.

Thinking back on events, Mabidla said the criminals did a number of suspicious things.

“When I went to take a glass for the one who requested water, he (the thirsty one) followed me. I wanted to ask him why he did that, but I decided against it. It was like they used muthi to control my reaction,” said Mabidla.

Mdledle said the robbery in their office followed a number of break-ins at other offices in the same building.

There are suspicions that the criminals who stole the lawyer’s laptop at Fedsure House are the same ones who stole three laptops from Mfenendala Communication in Chapel Street. One of them first asked for water, while another one asked silly question before producing a knife.

Mfenendala Communication co-owner Sniko Novukela said he has not heard anything from police.

Meanwhile, two criminals intruded into Kevin’s Cash and Carry in Victory Road on Friday morning and overpowered its owner Kevindra Rugburthial before robbing him of his jewellery and keys to his vehicle. However, they did not steal the vehicle after he pressed a panic button to summon security guards.

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