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Husband and wife arrested, accused of robberies at Sterns where she worked

A former police officer and his wife have been arrested in Mpumalanga in connection with robberies at Sterns jewellery shop where the woman worked.

Benengi Simon Mgidi, 45, and his wife Lindiwe Thandiwe Mgidi, 34, are accused of repeated robberies at the jewellery store where she worked.

They were arrested during a sting operation where jewellery items were found.

“An intelligence-driven operation carried out by members from Kwaggafontein has navigated them to two alleged robbers and recovered various jewellery items. The seized items are believed to be the products of two separate robberies,” according to Mpumalanga police spokesperson Brigadier Selvy Mohlala.

“According to the information, the crime intelligence structure in the province assisted members to have a breakthrough on two robberies incidents which were carried out at Kwaggafontein recently. One was carried out on July 8 while the other was carried out on July 12 at Sterns jewellery shop in Phola Mall, Kwaggafontein.”

During the robberies, Mohlala said a group of about three to four armed suspects stormed into the shop and held victims at gunpoint before seizing some jewellery items and fleeing the scene.

Police said the estimated value of the items taken during the robberies amounted to R300 000.

“Both incidents were separately reported to the police at Kwaggafontein. A team of experts in the investigation fraternity was assembled to probe,” said Mohlala.

In the early hours of Tuesday, the law enforcement team managed to recover the suspected stolen items at various areas including Machiding and Tweefontein in Mpumalanga.

“In the tour of the investigation, the members were led to a former police officer who previously worked at Kwaggafontein police station before he was dismissed on allegations of corruption in the year 2014.

“The man and his wife were arrested and charged accordingly after being found with some of the items believed to have been stolen during the two robbery incidents,” said Mohlala.

“The police also uncovered that the woman is an employee at the jewellery shop which was robbed.”

Lindiwe Thandiwe Mgidi appeared at Mkobola Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday where she was granted bail of R5 000. Benengi Simon Mgidi also appeared at the same court on Wednesday where he too was granted bail of R6 000.

The two are expected to appear in court on August 11.

Police listed the recovered goods as:

Two Tempo watches,

Two Hisense E31 cellphones,

Samsung A03 cellphone,

Tecno Camon cellphone,

Six other mobile phones,

57 finger rings,

21 earrings,

15 necklaces,

14 wrist watches,

Bracelet,

Four perfumes.

Police said some of the recovered items were still had tags from Sterns jewellery store.

Meanwhile, provincial commissioner of police in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant-General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela has praised the police officers working on the case and appealed to community members to avoid buying stolen goods.

“If one buys stolen property then it should be taken into consideration that such a person is actively participating in the whole value chain of criminal activities and syndicates,” she said. IOL

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