South Africa: Theft Suspects Arrested – Port Elizabeth

King Williams Town: Three females aged between 16 and 23 are in police custody on a charge of theft in Port Elizabeth.

It is alleged that on Sunday 2016-11-20, a 48 year old complainant was at a retail store at Sunridge Park village and when he arrived home he realised that his cell phone was not in his pocket. The complainant returned to the shopping centre and viewed the CCTV footage in the store. The footage showed that while he was avoiding other shoppers from bumping him, a young girl had removed the cell phone from his pocket.

Video footage showed the suspects getting into a Nissan Micra vehicle. The complainant opened a case of theft at SAPS Mount Road. The vehicle's registration number was circulated and on Monday 2016-11-21 at 11:50 the vehicle was spotted at Riviersonderend. The vehicle was stopped and after searching it, police seized 14 cell phones including the complainant's phone. A male and female (both 23 years old) and two juveniles aged 16 - 17 were arrested on charges of Possession of suspected stolen property. They appeared in court at Caledon on Tuesday 2016-11-22 but the case against them was withdrawn however they were re-arrested on charges of Theft on the Mount Road case.

The 23 year old male suspect was released as he could not be linked to the crime at this stage but the female and two juveniles remained in custody. The 8 year old girl who was with the suspects at the time of their arrests was released in her mother's custody. Her mother was served with a notice to bring her before court at Nerina House within seven days after receiving the notice.

The female suspect will appear in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate court on Friday 2016-11-25, while the two juveniles will appear at Nerina house court on Friday 2016-11-05.

Police is requesting any person who may have been robbed of his/her cellphone in a similar way to contact Lt Col Samantha Morgan on 041 3946053 or 0714751711. One of the cell phones was already linked to a case reported at SAPS Kabega Park.

As we approach the festive season, malls, shopping centres and places of entertainment will be busy with throngs of people milling about. Commuters are warned to make sure that their valuables especially their wallets, handbags and cellphones are well secured. It is a common trend for pick-pocketers to push while standing in a queue and unbeknown to the victim, wallets and cellphones are professionally removed. Never allow yourself to be distracted.

Source: South African Police Service.

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