Thief cop gets community service
A PLUMTREE traffic cop will perform 315 hours of community service at Tshabalala Police Station for stealing fines collected when he was on duty.
The cop collected $205 and R640 from motorists early this year and pocketed the money. The offence came to light after the Officer in Charge of Plumtree Traffic Police section carried out an audit of the station’s retention books.
Clacious Chatikobo (26) pleaded not guilty to theft charges but was convicted due to overwhelming evidence by Plumtree magistrate, Mr Livard Philemon.
He was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment but three months were suspended on condition that he does not commit a similar offence within the next five years.
The remaining nine months were further suspended on condition that he performs 315 hours of community service at Tshabalala Police Station.
Prosecuting, Mr Elisha Mazorodze said Chatikobo collected $205 and R640 at police roadblocks but did not hand over the money.
“In February and March Chatikobo and Constable Garikai Manyera were deployed to the Plumtree Vehicle Inspection Depot to carry out vehicle inspection duties and they were issued with retention books where they were supposed to receipt money which they collected,” he said.
Mr Mazorodze said on May 5 the Officer in Charge, Inspector Takaidza Julius carried out an audit of the station’s retention books and discovered that some charge sheets were missing.
An investigation revealed that Chatikobo had stolen the money.
Mr Mazorodze said on May 7, Chatikobo brought from home some copies of the missing charge sheets and surrendered them at the station.
“On 8 May he paid $200 and on 9 May paid another $5 and R640 as reimbursement for the misappropriated funds resulting in his immediate arrest,” he said.
In his defence, Chatikobo told the court that he misplaced charge sheets but surrendered the money at the station. He said he informed his boss who advised him to search for the papers and return them later.
He said he later found the charge sheets at his house and upon returning them, he was arrested.
Inspector Julius however told the court that Chatikobo did not surrender the money or inform him about the missing papers.
“In fact Chatikobo brought the money which he had stolen after I had confronted him over the issue as a cover up. He only brought the money after I had realised that he was stealing,” he said.— @ DubeMatutu.