SURGE IN THEFTS $2 million property lost to thieves
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.