SURGE IN THEFTS $2 mil­lion prop­erty lost to thieves

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Nqo­bile Tshili Chron­i­cle Cor­re­spon­dent

PROP­ERTY worth over $2 mil­lion was stolen in Bu­l­awayo be­tween April and June this year with po­lice saying there was a steady in­crease in theft cases within the three months.

Po­lice said in April prop­erty worth $244 117 was stolen with the fig­ure ris­ing to $914 049 in May and $922 704 in June.

Within that pe­riod, prop­erty worth $376 355 was re­cov­ered.

Theft of cash and ve­hi­cles as well as theft of prop­erty from mo­tor ve­hi­cles and homes are among the re­ported cases.

Act­ing Bu­l­awayo po­lice spokesper­son As­sis­tant In­spec­tor Abed­nico Ncube said one of the rea­sons why the value of stolen prop­erty was so high was that there are a num­ber of cases of peo­ple hoard­ing cash in homes who ended up los­ing it.

Asst Insp Ncube said the city recorded 323 cases of theft from ve­hi­cles be­tween April and June 2016 com­pared to 146 cases recorded within the same pe­riod last year.

He said po­lice were wor­ried about the level of reck­less­ness shown by mem­bers of the pub­lic who fail to se­cure prop­er­ties in their ve­hi­cles.

“Theft from mo­tor ve­hi­cles is a crime that can be pre­vented if all mo­torists can re­move their valu­ables be­fore park­ing their cars.

“We ad­vise the pub­lic not to leave wal­lets, hand­bags, cell­phones and lap­tops which are tar­gets for thieves,” Asst Insp Ncube said.

He said most cases were recorded in schools, churches, shop­ping cen­tres and of late at res­i­den­tial homes.

“As po­lice we want to urge mem­bers of the pub­lic to avoid keep­ing large sums of money in their homes among other valu­ables,” Asst Insp Ncube said.

The po­lice spokesper­son ex­pressed con­cern over an in­crease in vi­o­lent crimes such as as­saults and rape cases.

“As po­lice we’re saying peo­ple should seek coun­selling ser­vices in­stead of re­sort­ing to vi­o­lence.

“Mem­bers of the pub­lic should avoid car­ry­ing dan­ger­ous weapons such as knives be­cause in a fit of rage one can do re­gret­table things but with­out those weapons they will do less dam­age,” said Asst Insp Ncube.

He said po­lice will in­ten­sify ar­rests of peo­ple driv­ing ve­hi­cles with­out num­ber plates and their cars would be im­pounded as most of them are used to com­mit dan­ger­ous crimes in­clud­ing armed rob­bery.

Asst Insp Ncube said they also recorded sev­eral cases of fraud in­clud­ing mat­ters in which peo­ple were be­ing duped in prop­erty deals.

“The fig­ures es­ca­lated from 141 to 183 in the pe­riod un­der re­view. We ob­served that most of the fraud cases in­volved peo­ple seek­ing houses, stands, and ve­hi­cles. In­stead of fol­low­ing proper pro­ce­dures, some peo­ple try to do short­cuts, ex­pos­ing them­selves to bo­gus peo­ple who are keen on swin­dling them of their hard earned cash. We want to urge the pub­lic to seek ser­vices from le­gal ex­perts when in­tend­ing to buy prop­er­ties or even local author­i­ties who can ver­ify the pa­pers of prop­er­ties they want to buy,” he said.

Asst Insp Ncube urged mem­bers of the pub­lic to part­ner the po­lice in fight­ing and pre­vent­ing crime saying they can­not do it with­out the as­sis­tance of mem­bers of the pub­lic.

Fred­er­ick Lutzkie

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