Thieves tracked on CCTV and arrested

2010-10-19 00:00

QUICK police action and a vigilant crew in the Safe City CCTV control room led to the arrest of two men who removed furniture covers and curtains from the back of a delivery vehicle at Selgro Centre in the Pietermaritzburg CBD.

The control room alerted police to the theft and then helped them track down the men in Garfield Street where they were arrested.

“Further information from the control room led police to a vendor at the corner of Pietermaritz and Slater Street where various couch covers and curtains, valued at approximately R1 200 were recovered,” said Warrant Officer Joey Jeevan.

She said it is alleged that after the men stole the goods, they left them with the vendor and fled.

“The owner of the vehicle, who was unaware of the incident, was found inside a shop in Selgro Centre where the incident was reported to him. The stolen property was positively identified by the owner and handed back to him.”

The suspects appeared in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court on Friday on a charge of theft from a motor vehicle.

Jeevan said police believe the suspects may be linked to other similar crimes in the city.

She urged motorists to be more careful when leaving possessions in parked cars.

Jeevan said a high percentage of recently reported thefts from cars are due to negligence and “sheer carelessness”.

She told of incidents where people had left handbags visible on car seats while shopping and failed to lock doors. One person had even left keys in the car’s ignition.

She provided a personal security checklist:

• Make sure that all the doors and windows are properly locked when you park your car;

• Do not leave your firearm in the car, even if it hidden in the cubbyhole. This is illegal;

• Valuable items such as laptops and cameras should be put in the boot, preferably before you leave home;

• Be aware of people coming to you and informing you that you have a flat tyre, as they may intend to steal goods or the car;

• Try to keep the windows closed and doors locked when driving in the city centre.

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