Street-smart couple recover stolen cash

2012-07-05 14:06

Pietermaritzburg - Street-smarts and quick thinking enabled a Pietermaritzburg couple to recover thousands of rands after thieves stole a bag at a local shopping centre last Friday.

Mafiki Ndlovu was shopping at Checkers in Scottsville shopping mall in Pietermaritzburg when a thief made off with her bag containing R7 500 she had withdrawn for housekeeping.

Instead of panicking, she called her husband, Michael, and they contacted the management of the store to view the surveillance footage.

“We saw everything - me walking into the store and the two people, a man and a woman, stealing my bag and walking out of the store.

“The store management was efficient … and gave us pictures of the culprits.”


Michael decided they should drive to the Liberty Midlands mall where he had a feeling they could catch up with the suspects.

“I am street-smart. I knew that once they did that at the Scottsville mall, they would in all likelihood move to another mall,” he said.

As they arrived at the Liberty Midlands Mall, they quickly identified the suspects by their clothing.

Said Mafiki: “I asked my husband to get a closer look because I did not want them to see me. Once my husband confirmed it was them, I informed the security guard inside the mall.”

The security guard at the Liberty mall worked swiftly and contacted the control room.

Mafiki went into the control room to view footage of the suspects to confirm they were the ones who had stolen her bag and they were arrested.

To recover her money and shopping items, she made a deal with the culprits that she would not press charges if they returned the money.

In the end she lost her bank cards and a purse.

“I am very grateful to the security guards at the Liberty mall. They acted on my word alone and they moved swiftly to arrest these people.

“Had they not done that, these criminals would have left and I would never have got my belongings back.”

Suspects released on warning

Sagie Govansamy, the store manager at Checkers, said it was clear from the surveillance footage that the thieves had followed Ndlovu from outside. “She was by the fruit section when she looked away for a moment and another woman made off with her bag.

“This was a serious offence and she should have had them arrested.”

Police spokesperson Thulani Zwane confirmed that no case had been opened and that the suspects were released on warning.

Muhammad Varachia, acting centre manager at Liberty Midlands Mall, confirmed the incident and said the suspects had been arrested and questioned.

  • clinton.badenhorst - 2012-07-05 14:17

    Lucky bast@rds! Liberty Midlands Mall - Is this not the same mall that truck drove into the other day?

      mary.ball.925 - 2012-07-05 14:33

      One and the same.

      Preshen - 2012-07-05 17:41

      Street wise 2

      kayley.segal - 2012-07-05 19:08

      Legally, this a criminal case, not a civil one. It is a crime against the state. RSA v. Scunbags. The police have enough evidence to arrest and try them. Apparently they are too lazy to fill out the paperwork and make the arrests. Do they not prosecute a murder case because the victim is unable to "open a docket??

  • andrew.arde - 2012-07-05 14:47

    I would never have made that deal to not press charges! They are simply going to do it to someone else! How about promising not to press charges and then once you have your moola back get them arrested anyway. It's almost like the thieves saying "I promise I wont steal again" ??

      Nicolaas - 2012-07-05 16:52

      @Andrew, I agree, but I would have donner the living lights out of them first before calling the police!

  • Tawizee - 2012-07-05 15:08

    It's very difficult to steal from a thief.

  • Aaron - 2012-07-05 15:21

    Great, so they're free to steal R7500 from someone else. What an achievement.

  • ako.gutshwa.7 - 2012-07-05 15:24

    Another good story I've read today with a happy ending, bring some more stories but make sure they musn't have Malema because I don't wanna ruin my super day

  • John - 2012-07-05 15:27

    what goes around comes around......khama!!!

  • pheladi - 2012-07-05 15:39

    first of all, why would you walk around with R7 500????? in a mall??? i believe she should have swiped her grocery.

  • Mark - 2012-07-05 16:07

    You've got to criminally stupid to carry that kind of cash on you to go shopping. What the heck are debit and credit cards for?

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