Fire victim turns robbery suspect

2016-07-19 06:00
The popoular take-away eatery in Grassy Park suffered a fire two weeks ago. Since then people have looted the ruins of the store.  PHOTO: Chevon Booysen

The popoular take-away eatery in Grassy Park suffered a fire two weeks ago. Since then people have looted the ruins of the store. PHOTO: Chevon Booysen

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Just days after a popular eatery establishment suffered in the ruins of a fire, thieving criminals have already decided to cash in on the remains.
One of the 10 perpetrators caught in the act of stealing on Tuesday 12 July was also a victim police rescued from the fire.

The Bona Superette, a fast-food takeaway restaurant in Victoria Street, Grassy Park, burned down on Saturday 9 July at 02:30, confirms Grassy Park police spokesperson Warrant Officer Wynita Kleinsmith.

She confirms no foul play was suspected.

“At this point no foul play is suspected and it is believed that the cause of the fire was due to an electrical fault. [Officers] rescued a 36-year-old man after he was trapped inside the shop. The victim sustained minor injuries,” Kleinsmith says.

Police had to break into the burning building through a window and burglar bars to save the victim.

Two other victims also sustained minor injuries.

“No criminal case was opened. Damages to the shop at this point seems to be bad but it can only be determined by the owner. The owner was informed that he was responsible for his own security to guard his place,” Kleinsmith says.

However, the warning to post his own security at the shop while the ruins and damages were assessed, went unheeded, Kleinsmith says.

Due to this, the shop was looted by criminals and thieves soon after the building burned.

“The owner did not fetch his stock or organise security people to guard his shop. On Tuesday 12 July at about 04:15 ten arrests were made by Sergeant Danny Williams at the shop after suspects were found stealing grocery items,” she says.

Two women and eight men, between the ages of 18 and 55, were arrested on charges of business burglary. They appeared on related charges in the Wynberg Magistrate’ s court on Thursday 14 July.

Police involved in the rescue were Sergeant Danny Williams, Constable Christopher Maart, Constable Garreth Wyngaardt and Constable Faizel Spannenberg.

“Grassy Park police wish to expresses their gratitude towards these officers for rescuing the person that was trapped and for their involvement in the fight against crime,” Kleinsmith concludes.

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