Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu, Gwanda Correspondent

TWO men from Bulawayo who were caught on camera stealing from a vehicle in Gwanda were arrested after their getaway car was involved in an accident during a high speed chase.

Mpilwenhle Ndlovu (35) from Magwegwe West and Eria Munatsi (36) from Entumbane were not asked to plead when they appeared before Gwanda magistrate, Miss Lerato Nyathi facing four counts of theft.

They were remanded out of custody to May 29 after they were granted $2 500 bail each.

Ndlovu and Munatsi are being represented Mr Bukhosi Ncube from Malinga and Mpofu Legal Practitioners.

In opposing bail, the prosecutor Miss Ethel Mahachi said the accused persons were a flight risk because they were facing a serious offence and there was overwhelming evidence against them.

She said Ndlovu and Munatsi stole from three vehicles in the Gwanda CBD.

On 11 January at around 11AM Mr MacDonald Mabhungu who was in the company of his wife Ms Progress Dube parked his Nissan Caravan vehicle outside Farm Harvest Restaurant and they went inside to buy some food. When they returned Mr Mabhungu noticed that the locking system of his vehicle had been tempered with and $6 000 was missing from his vehicle,” she said.

“Mr Mabhungu approached the owner of the restaurant who checked the CCTV footage and managed to identify the accused persons as the ones who committed the offence. The matter was reported to the police.”

Miss Mahachi said in another incident on May 6 at around 11AM, the pair stole from Ms Sibonginkosi Phiri who had parked her car near the Passport Office in Gwanda and went into a supermarket leaving the car locked.

When she returned, Ms Phiri noticed that the front passenger door was open and upon checking her belongings, she noticed that her money, R1 650 and $25 which was in her purse and two jerseys, was missing.

She reported the matter at Gwanda Urban Police Station.

Miss Mahachi said on the same day at around 9AM, Ms Cynthia Siziba who was with her sister Miss Faith Siziba parked her Toyota Quantum vehicle opposite Zesa Complex in Gwanda CBD leaving the vehicle locked.

She activated the alarm system.

Miss Mahachi said while Faith and Cynthia were still in the shop, they heard the alarm ringing and rushed to check.

They noticed that there was someone inside the vehicle holding their belongings.

“The accused person rushed out of the vehicle and got into a Honda Jazz vehicle which sped away. Cynthia and Faith alerted members of the public of the thieves who then pursued them.

“The vehicle being used by the accused person’s then crashed into a building in the CBD while trying to flee from members of the public who were pursuing them in another vehicle. The accused person’s had stolen US$130 and R4 350 which was in Cynthia’s purse and US$11 and R310 which was in Faith’s purse,” she said.

Miss Mahachi said the pair was apprehended and taken to the Gwanda Urban Police Station.

@DubeMatutu