Lightning work by police

2010-11-25 00:00

THE quick reaction of South African Police Force members has been praised following the arrest of a man about 10 minutes after he broke into a Pietermaritzburg business and stole a laptop.

The four officers arrested the running suspect and recovered the laptop in the city centre. The man, who is believed to be a member of a Hammarsdale-based syndicate, suspected of targeting unsuspecting city business employees, was arrested yesterday at the corner of Church and Raven streets in the CBD.

Gregory Singh, an insurance broker, only found out about the burglary in his 45 Hoosen Haffejee Street office building when the officers had already arrested a 32-year-old suspect at about 10.45 am yesterday. This was a few minutes after he left the laptop on his office desk when he when out to an appointment.

“While I was still driving, my wife called to say police were at the office with a man who had stolen my laptop. I did not know anything about a stolen laptop.

“I was amazed by the police’s swift reaction, but also disappointed that my computer had been stolen,” said Singh.

Singh had left the building’s main door locked, but the arrested suspect and his accomplice came at about 10.35 am and distracted a receptionist before damaging a padlock.

Singh’s wife, who also works in the building, saw the suspect asking for directions from the receptionist while standing behind the locked gate.

“The receptionist returned to her desk. Then I suddenly saw the two men running out of my husband’s office with the laptop.

“As I followed them they disappeared down the street. As I was panicking, I saw a police vehicle and stopped it to give them the description of the man who was carrying the laptop. About 10 minutes later they were back at the office with the suspect. They did a great job,” she said.

The “amazing” officers are sergeants Bradley Gregory, Nishen Raghu, Nolan Peter and Constable Nkululeko Mbanjwa.

Police followed the lead down to the CBD where they spotted the suspect still carrying the bag with the laptop. When they approached him he allegedly tried to flee.

“But because of our fitness, agility, skill and experience we caught him within five metres.

“This guy is part of a big Durban and Hammarsdale syndicate which targets Pietermaritzburg businesses. They pretend to be potential clients or looking for directions before they attack,” said Peter.

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