Mowing thieves hit City

2017-02-23 11:07
Pietermaritzburg police officers talk to Msunduzi Mayor Themba Njilo (right) at the scene of the break-in at the municipal sheds at Alexandra Park this week. INSET: (top) Police and municipal employees inspect one of the sheds that were broken into on Tuesday morning. (bottom) The locks and chains that secured the front gate to the municipal sheds were broken.

Pietermaritzburg police officers talk to Msunduzi Mayor Themba Njilo (right) at the scene of the break-in at the municipal sheds at Alexandra Park this week. INSET: (top) Police and municipal employees inspect one of the sheds that were broken into on Tuesday morning. (bottom) The locks and chains that secured the front gate to the municipal sheds were broken. (Supplied)

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Be on the lookout for people with gardening equipment that belongs to the municipality and report them to the police straight away.

That’s the plea from Msunduzi Mayor Themba Njilo after over 30 municipal brush cutters and seven leaf blowers were stolen by thieves who broke into municipal sheds at Alexandra Park this week.

The locks on the four sheds where the equipment was kept for the Msunduzi Parks and Recreation Department at Alexandra Park were broken during the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Municipal spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha could not confirm where the two security guards were at the time of the break-in, but said a case of business robbery was opened.

Mafumbatha insisted that the municipality employed 24-hour security at the sheds.

uMgungundlovu South Cluster police spokesperson Sergeant Mthokozisi Ngobese said according to the statement, the “complainant” (Msunduzi) said staff locked up and left for the night and realised there was a break-in when they arrived for work the next day.

The theft comes in the week that City managers will officially open the newly renovated Alexandra park.

Acting city horticulturist Lucky Phiri said the workshop storing brand new spare parts for the machinery was also broken into and the spares were also taken.

Phiri said there were two security guards on duty “during the hour of the break-in” and Mafumbatha confirmed that there is 24-hour security there.

The City and police are now investigating where the security guards were at the time of the break-in.

Mafumbatha said they were still calculating the value of the items stolen.

From shed two, the thieves stole 15 brush cutters and made their way to sheds three and four where they stole five and seven brush cutters respectively.

The workshop, which is about 20 metres away from the sheds, was also broken into and more brush cutters and spares for the equipment were stolen out of it.

“Such conduct is unacceptable as this equipment belongs to the City. These are the incidents that delay service delivery to our people and they cannot be tolerated,” said Njilo.

Ngobese said police were investigating the matter but also urged the public to notify the police if they notice people selling the items under suspicious circumstances.


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  msunduzi municipality

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