Jail time for robbers

2018-07-17 06:00
Congratulating officials on the case, from left, Colonel Shawn van Wyk, Detective Warrant Officer Herman Meissenheimer and Detective Colonel Gilbert Booysen. PHOTO: aishah cassiem

Congratulating officials on the case, from left, Colonel Shawn van Wyk, Detective Warrant Officer Herman Meissenheimer and Detective Colonel Gilbert Booysen. PHOTO: aishah cassiem

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Stealing a cellphone and getting quick bail after an arrest could be a thing of the past for robbers in Lansdowne.

Colonel Shawn van Wyk, station commander for Lansdowne Police Station, warns locals to end the senseless activity to avoid a lengthy jail sentence­.

The warning comes after Wesley Thomas (28) from the Flamingo informal settlement in Lansdowne was recently sentenced to 12 years in prison for robbing a resident at knifepoint, for a bracelet and cellphone.

“The success of this lengthy sentence is a first for our station. We are serious about stopping crime in the area, and will no longer tolerate it. These robbers are used to robbing residents and getting bail, only to go out and repeat the act again. This time they could be in for a shock if caught again,” explains Van Wyk.

“There is no more six-month or three-year prison sentence, as we are aiming to take these cases to the High Court to give them a lengthier jail time and to teach them a lesson. And if they still haven’t changed their lives once being released we will aim for an even lengthier time if they commit again.”

Thomas committed robbery in the early hours of Wednesday 19 June 2016, and was spotted by an OWL security official. He was searched and found with the stolen items in his possession, and was arrested and detained at Lansdowne Police Station on the same day.

But Van Wyk says it was Detective Warrant Officer Herman Meissenheimer who worked tirelessly since the apprehension of the suspect, collecting evidence from witnesses to ensure the accused faced the full might of the law.

“This is not the first time Thomas has been arrested. He is a regular at our station and was previously arrested for robbery and several other crimes,” explains Meissenheimer­.

“He was 25 years old when we first detained him at our station. He was busy with community work as part of his sentence, and just as we were finishing off on his previous crime, then he committed this specific offence in 2016.”

Van Wyk congratulated Meissenheimer on the case and thanked the community and neighbourhood watches in the area for working hand in hand with the police to take the case to court.

“Without the community we cannot have such good sentences,” says Van Wyk.

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