Suspected city burglars nabbed

2013-04-05 00:00

TOWN HILL police have arrested eight burglary suspects following a wave of break-ins across Pietermaritzburg suburbs.

In a statement released yesterday, police spokesperson Lieutenant Joey Jeevan said that the past two weeks had yielded arrests in connection with two separate burglaries.

Stolen property, including a firearm, bicycles, and a R20 000 flat-screen television, were recovered by police.

Three of the men allegedly ransacked a Clarendon home on Wednesday morning before making off with two bicycles and several electrical tools.

Responding to an emergency call, police spotted the suspects nearby, stolen goods in hand. They were arrested and the items returned to their rightful owners.

The suspects — Makabongwe Mazibuko (22), Nhlanhla Miya (22) and Sinethemba Simelane (22) — appeared in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court and were remanded in custody until April 11.

In a separate incident, Town Hill police arrested three Cinderella Park men in connection with a Wembley burglary.

The trio included the gardener at the burgled home.

Douglas Moyo (40), and his accomplices, Believe Dube (22) and Libanon Joe (23), were nabbed when police allegedly found Moyo with his employer’s stolen revolver.

Two local meter taxi drivers, Patrick Nomgca (32) and Ayanda Matyolo (26), were also arrested for allegedly transporting stolen property for the suspects.

The men appeared in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court and were remanded in custody until April 10.

“Police believe that the suspects may form part of a gang that may be linked to other housebreakings in the area,” said Jeevan.

Locals are increasingly worried, calling for neighbours’ vigilance where security services fail them.

Montrose robbery victim Debbie Comly believes that a gang is responsible for the wave of break-ins in her area. Undeterred by an alarm and electric gates, the thieves “were in and out in 20 minutes”, smooth and organised, said Comly.

Contacting The Witness, Comly said neighbours should “watch out for one another” in lieu of effective crime prevention by private security companies.

“The security haven’t cautioned anyone or anything, and so people don’t respond when they hear alarms. Neighbours need to know to be vigilant,” said Comly.

Comly told The Witness that police had said that there were numerous gangs operating in the suburb.

She said this meant that if residents were hit once, this did not mean they would not be hit again by another gang.

“[Our security service] took half an hour to get from Athlone Circle to our house. I could walk the distance in five minutes,” she said.

When contacted for comment, The Witness was informed that the security company’s manager is on leave until April 8.

RE/MAX estate agency yesterday announced they will now be distributing branded whistles to their clients and the public in Pietermaritzburg and Durban.

“The main idea is that these whistles can be used as a tool against crime by raising a response from people nearby in the event of a crime,” said RE/MAX owner Gareth Bailey.

“Criminals take advantage of both the apathy of neighbouring residents and the time delay in the arrival of the security firms.” The solution to this, for now, Bailey says, is a simple but effective whistle.

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