By Andile Tshuma
Police have arrested a man from Bulawayo suspected of breaking into 13 houses and stealing cash and property worth more than $4 000.
Prince Tshabangu (40) of Iminyela suburb appeared before Western Commonage magistrate Mr Lungile Ncube charged with 13 counts of unlawful entry and theft in aggravating circumstances.
He was not asked to plead and was remanded in custody to January 27. Prosecuting, Mr Mufaro Mageza said Tshabangu was not a first offender and a regular visitor to the courts.
He said Tshabangu embarked on a housebreaking spree, targeting deserted houses mostly during the festive season, stretching from late last year to this year.
“The accused person is facing 13 counts of unlawful entry and theft in aggravating circumstances. The first offence was committed in October 2016 where he stole from complainant Ms Sithembinkosi Moyo of Entumbane suburb and got away with property worth $195,” said Mr Mageza.
On the second count, Tshabangu allegedly broke into a house in Nkulumane on November 18 last year when the owner Mr Davis Nyoni (43) was at work.
“Tshabangu jumped over the durawall, opened a window, took keys which were hidden inside a flower pot and used them to gain entry into the house .He got away with a 32 inch television set, pots, six chickens, a seat cover and $600 cash. The complainant lost property and cash worth $1 100 and $400 was recovered,” said Mr Mageza.
On the third count, Tshabangu allegedly broke into a house in Entumbane suburb and stole a decoder, shoes and blankets from a police officer, Mr Thuthani Moyo. Property worth $40 was recovered.
Tshabangu allegedly went on to steal a television set worth $500 belonging to Ms Veronica Ngwenya (68) in Mpopoma suburb on November 10 last year.
He allegedly used duplicate keys to gain entry into the house.
On December 7, he allegedly broke a padlock at a Pelandaba house, gained entry and stole a television set and a remote control worth $350. Only the television set was recovered.
On December 22, he allegedly stole food and groceries worth $100 from Ms Sisasenkosi Ngwenya’s house in Pumula suburb. Nothing was recovered.
On the seventh count, Tshabangu allegedly forced open a door in Mpopoma suburb and stole a Hisense television set and groceries worth $324. Only the television set was recovered.
In Pelandaba West suburb, a 47-year-old woman, Ms Mervis Sigola, allegedly lost a television set, home theatre and jewellery all worth $700. Property valued at $550 was recovered.
Last Thursday, Tshabangu allegedly broke into a home in Emakhandeni suburb and stole groceries worth $570 which were later recovered after his arrest.
On the same night, he also allegedly broke into another house in Emakhandeni suburb and stole cash amounting to $80 and a packet of biscuits. Nothing was recovered.
That night, he allegedly travelled to Pumula suburb and stole groceries worth $50 and 20 pula from Ms Sithandazile Dube’s house.
On the 12th count, Tshabangu allegedly used duplicate keys to gain entry into a house in Pumula South suburb and got away with property worth $97.
On the 13th count, he allegedly retrieved keys under a door mat and gained entry into a Pelandaba West home and stole groceries worth $50. The total value of stolen items is $4 100 and goods worth $2 000 were recovered. The Chronicle