T wo men, alleged cohorts in a cell phone theft racket, were arrested and are in custody, awaiting trial on charges of possession of suspected stolen goods.
This follows after a man perceived to be a regular cell phone thief was brutally beaten by members of the public at a business complex on the corner of Burger and Grobler streets last Thursday for allegedly stealing cell phones from employees in the area.
According to one of his alleged victims the man has been stealing phones for quite a time and mainly targets female employees. “We are glad that he was finally caught in the act. We are tired of him. He comes into our offices smartly dressed and pretends to inquire about something.
Then, while we’re busy trying to assist he takes our phones and runs away,” the victim said.
Another victim said he was glad that members of the public had caught him in the act. “I hope the police arrest him because he has been bothering us for years and we did not know how to deal with the situation,” he said.
The alleged thief was taken from the scene by officers of a security company when the Police failed to arrive at the scene after being called several times.
A bystander said he had called 10111 six times from 09:30 to 09:56 to request police intervention and that the call was only answered at the sixth attempt. “The official answering confirmed that a vehicle will be sent out promptly, but when officers of a private security company took the culprit from the scene at around 10:15, the Police hadn’t arrived yet,” the source who elected to remain anonymous, said.
Polokwane Observer followed the security officers to a business in Market Street where the owner was confronted by the security officers who were reportedly informed by the thug that he was the vendor of stolen phones. The police then arrived at the scene and the thug was removed.
Polokwane Police Spokesperson Lesiba Ramoshaba confirmed on Wednesday that Jerry Komane, a 31-year-old man from Venus, Ga-Mashashane and Mutaz Amar, 40, from a shop in Market Street, appeared in court on charges of possession of suspected stolen goods.
They were remanded in custody and are due to appear in court again on 15 May.
Ramoshaba could not comment on the allegation that the police failed to attend to the matter timeously and requested members of the public to refer complaints in this regard to Polokwane police officers Lucas Tlako or André Kotze on 082 729 0043 and 082 414 2314 respectively.
Story, photos & video: BARRY VILJOEN