Car break-ins on increase

By IAfrica
In Namibia
Feb 26th, 2014

TSUMEB – A series of car robberies in the placid mining town of Tsumeb have left police baffled as the perpetrator/s cunningly left no clues for police detectives to follow up on.

According to Police Chief Inspector Bernhard Nghuulivali within February alone the culprits managed to successfully break into five cars stealing an array of goods ranging from cellphones, car radios to handbags and liquor. ”

“The first one occurred at 21h00 on 15 February when suspect/s stole a handbag containing a cellphone, Identity documents, a fashion express card and driver’s license,” said Nghuulivali.

“The second incident took place on the 16th, when suspects gained access into the vehicle by breaking one of its windows and stole a toolbox and some liquor between the hours of 02h00 and 06h00,” the chief inspector stated.

“The third incident took place seven days later between the hours of 03h00 and 04h00 on the 23rd, when suspects gained entrance into the vehicle by making use of an unknown object to open the car door and made off with its radio. The fourth took place around 05h00 – 06h00 when suspects again broke a window to steal another radio, while the fifth took place in the parking lot of the Shoprite Mall where suspects broke a vehicle’s window and stole a cellphone and memory stick (USB) drive,” he said.

The chief inspector told New Era the thief or thieves are becoming bolder and their confidence increasing with each incident because two of the robberies took place on the same morning.

However police are unsure if they are dealing with the same suspect or a group. Nghuulivali urged members of the public to refrain from leaving valuable items where they can be seen through the window.

“Leaving items of value such as cellphones on the car seat or anywhere in the vehicle where it is in plain sight within the vehicle attracts would-be thieves. Hide them either in the glove compartment or take them with you. Replacing a car window is far more costly then the N$200 cellphone they will break in to steal. No matter how broke you are you will make plans to fix that window even if it means going to borrow money,” Nghuulivali said.

Police believe the items are being sold in the community and they urged members of the public to refrain from buying goods that do not have proof of purchase such as a receipt.

The police chief inspector said purchasing stolen items  simply provides a demand for thieves who will continue stealing until the demand for stolen items wanes.

“A thief is always a thief and to those people harbouring this person or persons be it your brother, sister, uncle, cousin father or son by not reporting this you are crippling the police.  Crime is just crime, so you who chooses to protect that individual will also cry because thieves are funny people, once they run out of places to steal they will turn on your home and you will also cry,” said Nghuulivali.

By John Travolter Matali

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