Facebook used to find sound equipment thief

2017-01-20 10:07
Sound Mechanix owner Sean Swanson shows the photograph of his equipment being stolen earlier this month from his business in town.

Sound Mechanix owner Sean Swanson shows the photograph of his equipment being stolen earlier this month from his business in town. (Ian Carbutt)

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Pietermaritzburg - A local businessman who tracked and found the suspect who allegedly stole his sound equipment, was amazed when the investigating officer on the case would not help him to get the man arrested.

The owner of Sound Mechanix, Sean Swanson, said he was “bitterly disappointed” when he did not receive assistance from the local police officer.

Swanson said he tracked the suspect himself to Pretoria and immediately called his investigating officer to find out what the next step would be.

“I called the officer at about 7.30pm on Wednesday and he just shouted at me and asked why I was calling him after working hours,” Swanson said.

He said he was baffled when the officer refused to help him, adding that the officer told him he had “no airtime or transport” to communicate with the police in Pretoria.

The business owner and his friends took to social media last week in an attempt to find the man who did not return R118 000 worth of sound equipment that he hired earlier this month from Swanson.

“Luckily the young man had a Facebook account, so we had a starting point,” Swanson said.

According to Swanson, they contacted some of the suspect’s Facebook friends and former employers who helped them get hold of the suspect’s family in Pretoria.

“We spoke to his family and put pressure on them until the step­father agreed to help us,” Swanson said.

He said the stepfather said he would keep an eye on the man, who was in Pretoria, while Swanson notified the police of his whereabouts.

But when he received no assistance from the Pietermaritzburg police officer, Swanson’s friend tried to call a police station in Pretoria for help.

“They [the Pretoria police officer] said there was nothing they could do and it was not their problem,” Swanson said.

Swanson then arranged for the man’s stepfather to keep his stepson overnight and hand him to the closest police station the next morning.

The suspect was eventually detained at the Pretoria Central police station, where a Pietermaritzburg police officer was going to fetch him from on Thursday.

“I cannot believe that nobody wanted to take the man after I had gone through so much trouble trying to find him,” Swanson said.

When The Witness asked about the Pietermaritzburg officer’s conduct, the provincial police would not comment, but confirmed that the officer would fetch the suspect from Pretoria.

“The investigating officer has left to fetch him and he will be appearing in court on Monday,” said provincial spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbhele.

Read more on:    facebook  |  pietermaritzburg  |  crime  |  social media

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