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Teen car thief awaits sentencing

By Brenda Zinyuke

An 18 year old man from Nkulumane suburb in Bulawayo has appeared in court for stealing a Honda Fit vehicle valued at US$3 000.

honda fitCharles Machaya stole the car which was parked at Crescent Court, Corner 12th Avenue and Herbert Chitepo Street belonging to Mr Kasirai Kasirai.

Machaya pleaded guilty to a theft of motor vehicle charge before Bulawayo magistrate, Mr Mafios Moyo.

The magistrate remanded him in custody to today for sentencing.

Prosecuting, Mr Simbarashe Manyiwa said on July 24 at around 2PM, Mr Kasirai parked his motor vehicle at Crescent Court for safe keeping. The motor vehicle had developed a suspension problem and he had removed the battery. His car keys got stuck in the ignition port and he left them there with the passenger door unlocked.

“On August 16 at around 9PM, the complainant checked his car and found it where he had parked it,” Mr Manyiwa said.

He said on August 17, Machaya, who works at Battery clinic located at Willsgrove Farm, Corner Fife Street and 5th Avenue as a second hand car battery dealer, saw Mr Kasirai’s car.

“He noticed the car keys were in the ignition port and the rear passenger door was open and he hatched a plan to steal it,” Mr Manyiwa said.

Machaya noticed that the car had no battery and went to his work place where he took a battery belonging to one of his clients. He fitted it on the motor vehicle and drove away.

Mr Manyiwa said Machaya was seen by Mr Velani Madi (52) driving at a very high speed along Luveve road.

“Mr Madi was driving at Mazai River Bridge when he noticed that the vehicle had a burst tyre and the accused person was looking suspicious.

He told police officers who came to the scene and found Machaya standing near the motor vehicle,” he said.

The officers searched Machaya and found him in possession of the car keys. They called Mr Kasirai whose contact details were written on the body of the stolen vehicle and he confirmed that the car was his.

Machaya was arrested and the car was recovered together with the car battery that he had taken from his work place. The Chronicle