Rugby test pickpocketing: Four men to appear in court

2018-06-18 17:29
Captain Scheepers with the recovered cellphones. (Supplied)

Captain Scheepers with the recovered cellphones. (Supplied)

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Four men, who are suspected of targeting spectators at big sports events across South Africa, are to appear in the Bloemfontein Magistrate's Court on Tuesday for the alleged possession of stolen cellphones worth R50 000.

It is believed that the devices had been stolen from spectators during a rugby test match between the Springboks and England at Toyota Stadium in the Free State on Saturday.

The men, believed to be from Gauteng, were arrested on Sunday in Kellner Street in Westdene, after police allegedly found eight cellphones hidden underneath car seats in the Audi A4 the men had been travelling in. They failed to provide the police with proof of ownership of the cellphones

Police spokesperson Chaka Marope said it was believed that the men travelled across the country and targeted major sporting events where they pickpocketed spectators of their cellphones and purses. 

Marope said Parkweg police had 30 reported cases of pickpocketing in which victims claimed their cellphones had been stolen during the rugby match.

"The police request anyone who lost his or her cellphone at the stadium to visit the Parkweg exhibit store to identify their stolen cellphones. They are advised to bring along their identity document and proof of ownership," Marope said.

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