Sick cop arrests hospital conmen

2013-01-23 10:30

Pietermaritzburg - Not even hospitalisation for a serious lung ailment can keep a good cop down, it seems.

From his bed at Midlands Medical Centre, Sergeant Nithia Peter watched as a fellow patient was conned out of his cellphone by two men posing as doctors.

It was second time unlucky for the men, who the dedicated crime-buster had previously arrested two years ago.

Shrugging off his ill health, the sergeant repeated his feat on Monday when he ran after the pair as they tried to flee the hospital.

Low energy

“I had low energy and I wasn’t myself, but I wanted to stop them so they wouldn’t do this to other people,” he said.

Peter was admitted to the hospital on Saturday with lung complications.

At about 11:00 on Monday he was sedated and taken for tests, returning to his ward about an hour later.

He awoke to see two men speaking to a 17-year-old patient in the bed opposite him.

“They were neatly dressed in expensive clothes. One was holding a 2008 diary and the other had a small bag.

“They told him they were doctors and that they wanted to discharge him.

“They said they wanted his phone to download his information on their laptop to process his discharge.”

But then the men grabbed the teenager’s phone and made their way towards the door.

“As they were walking out, they looked at me and said ‘Mr Peter’. I didn’t know who they were at the time, but they recognised me because I had arrested them for a robbery in 2011.”

Both were convicted of the crime.

Peter said he asked the patient if he realised he had just been robbed.

Returned phone

Perhaps the thieves knew Peter was a member of the Loop Street Project Team, which traces wanted criminals, because an odd thing then happened.

“While we were talking, the suspects walked back in and threw the phone on the patient’s bed and ran.”

Peter jumped out of bed and went after them.

He alerted the hospital security and nurses joined in the search for the pair.

“We searched and found them trying to get inside an office. We arrested them and they were taken to the security control room, where they admitted that they were there to steal. They reminded me that I had arrested them in 2011,” said Peter, who was discharged on Tuesday afternoon.

His efforts, though, were in vain.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Joey Jeevan said the victim did not want to lay any charges and no case was opened.

“The officer’s dedication to duty, even while receiving treatment, is commendable,” Jeevan said.

  • bruce.williams.1044186 - 2013-01-23 10:43

    Well done!! Great news!!

      ruan.smith.14 - 2013-01-23 10:48

      It is awesome to hear of stories like this!!

      martin.mcleman - 2013-01-23 10:50

      A real cop... At last.. Makes a refreshing change doesn't it.... Well done sir

      squeegee.pilot - 2013-01-23 11:22

      Why did the victim have to lay charges if a policeman witnessed the crime?

      andre.vandeventer.16 - 2013-01-23 11:31

      Well done, only problem is that they were released. Mr Peter is a cop and he saw the whole incident. It should not have been necessary for the owner to lay a charge, this was a case of the State versus....!

      Ryan7X7 - 2013-01-23 11:43

      If they were arrested and convicted of robbery in 2011, I wonder why they were not in prison. Must have been a very short sentence if they are already out. Take into account the man that got 15 years for stealing a phone in another article.

      johan.jacobs.5680 - 2013-01-23 11:59

      Thank you Sergeant,for setting an example

      PointBlank - 2013-01-23 13:37

      The ipid will arrest him for assaulting two robbers trying to flee..

  • Gordon20 - 2013-01-23 10:43

    Verry, verry nice Peter......

  • siann.heidgen - 2013-01-23 10:46

    We need more cops like this

  • sbulele.b.mnyaka - 2013-01-23 10:48

    sgt peter we want police like u in south africa

  • Killbot79 - 2013-01-23 10:54


  • Giancarlo_Groenewald - 2013-01-23 10:59

    Get well soon Mr Peter We need more men like you on the streets.

  • sarah.bouttell - 2013-01-23 11:01

    Dedication. I like it. Perhaps we could put this gentleman in charge of training for rest of his department. Hell, make it a countrywide initiative...

      timmy.ditsele - 2013-01-23 13:11

      He should be put incharge of the arms deal investigations, maybe something will come out of it.

  • gert_swart - 2013-01-23 11:02

    @Sergeant Nithia Peter You are a true South Africa hero. I salute you!

  • clive.wannenburg - 2013-01-23 11:15

    Nice they got what was coming, just a little worried that they were already arrested in 2011 and are already out on streets again doing what they do best.

      michael.tetley.35 - 2013-01-23 11:52

      And convicted apparently. Turnstile justice and the " geev heem ennutha chunce " mentality so prevalent today.

  • Eterni80 - 2013-01-23 11:15

    wow a true HERO - doing a better job than some able bodied cops !!

  • vernon.meakin - 2013-01-23 11:21

    A real cop out there ,nice to know ,hope you get better soon ,we need you out there.

  • nmunyai - 2013-01-23 11:29

    Hero!.... Hope u get better soon

  • claire.a.joseph.5 - 2013-01-23 11:41

    This is the kind of dedicated individual we need serving our country.

  • ulandi.potgieter - 2013-01-23 11:45

    Well done. Hope you get better soon.

  • Diversitas - 2013-01-23 11:49

    And this is why you dont release thugs. Arrested in 2011 and are now running the streets continuing to be thugs. And why are they released? Is there a charge for impersonating doctors or any other for that matter? Shouldn't the hospital charge them?

  • flysouth - 2013-01-23 12:18

    The entire system in SA is completely wrong. It should be the NPA or even a Provincial Commissioner of Police, which has authority to lay charges, irrespective of the victim's desires, when an obvious crime has been committed and valid eye-witness or other evidence is available. Where suitable evidence exists charges should always be laid.

  • hrh.majiuana - 2013-01-23 12:34

    Give that cop a lung..........and a bells

  • moi.carla.1980 - 2013-01-23 12:49

    Well done Sergeant!!!

  • winifred.watson.9 - 2013-01-23 12:58

    Well done. Its really a shame when you see how crime is esculating. Even the poor sick people cant sleep properly at night. Woman are being raped in their hospital beds, goodness what a sick society when criminals have to stoop so low. This guy needs a medal.

  • petr.valcik1 - 2013-01-23 13:03

    Awesome news - now that they are stealing again - can they also get 15 years like the guy in the previous article + whatever they can get for impersonating a doctor.

  • gladness - 2013-01-23 13:17

    It is people like the 17 year old who encourage crime. No charge laid. The criminals will just carry on looking for another sucker.

  • firmsly.kabelo - 2013-01-23 16:56

    He deserves a bonus cheque and medal. Hes the pride of SAPS and country.

  • celeste.vanrooyen.7 - 2013-01-23 19:06

    It is refreshing to see this amongst all the preceding stories of police not being good enough! Well done officer!!!

  • rory.n.price - 2013-01-23 19:21

    Good man, well done

  • venn.cannon - 2013-02-06 19:10

    Great story, sad ending, He should be promoted to General. Shame on the young man who wouldn't press charges.

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