New Police Officers Join Fight Against Soaring CrimeDecember 14, 2023
President Meets with Black Business Leaders About EconomyDecember 14, 2023
Two suspected serial shoplifters were arrested on Wednesday after being caught stealing over R7,000 worth of clothes from a store in Nelspruit’s Ilanga Mall, police said.
The men, aged 26 and 34, were under surveillance by police following allegations they were behind a string of thefts at the city’s Riverside Mall. “Close monitoring was conducted and it is alleged they further stole five jackets, concealing the items in a paper bag lined with foil to prevent detection,” police spokesperson Brigadier Selvy Mohlala said in a statement.
Officers cornered the pair as they attempted to leave the mall. The jackets and other goods were discovered during a search. Investigators believe the suspects, both from Kanyamazane township outside Nelspruit, have been travelling from mall to mall stealing merchandise to sell.
“They might be possibly involved in other shoplifting cases,” Mohlala said. “Investigators are adamant that the arrested suspects could as well be implicated in business robbery cases where mobile phones were stolen.”
The men are expected to appear in the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court on Monday on shoplifting charges. Police have not ruled out additional charges.
Provincial Police Commissioner Lt Gen Semakaleng Manamela praised officers for the arrests and warned criminals not to take advantage of busy holiday shopping crowds. “We will keep our boots on the ground and do our best to prevent crime, including at the shopping malls,” Manamela said.