A BULAWAYO man allegedly broke into eight houses at Nkulumane Police Camp where he was doing community service for assault, getting away with property worth more than $1,500. Hlanganani Ncube, 26, was arrested after he dropped his cellphone while fleeing after stealing from one of the houses on Sunday last week.
Police used the phone to track him down.
Ncube appeared before Western Commonage magistrate Temba Chimiso facing 20 counts of unlawful entry and theft.
He was not asked to plead and was remanded in custody to February 17.
Ncube finished serving his community service sentence for assault at the police camp early last year. He allegedly used the community service period to scout the police camp and devise ways of stealing.
Ncube visited the camp doing odd jobs after serving his sentence.
Prosecuting Smart Hwani told the court that Ncube would break into the camp premises at night and steal from police officers’ houses.
“Ncube served community service at the camp. Soon after he finished community service he started stealing from police officers. He was arrested after stealing cellphones from a police officer and his maid,” said Hwani.
According to police records, the police officer went into his house and found his cellphone missing. He discovered that his maid’s was also missing.
The record shows that the officer called the maid’s phone and heard it ringing outside.
He rushed out of the house and saw Ncube’s back as he fled from the scene.
Ncube allegedly dropped his cellphone and the maid’s.
“When the police officer saw him, Ncube escaped and dropped his cellphone which they used to trace him leading to his arrest,” said Hwani.
In July last year, Hwani said, Ncube broke into a police officer’s house through an unlocked door and stole a bicycle. It was not recovered.
In August the same year Ncube broke into the same house and stole three cell phones and two Econet lines and they were not recovered.
Hwani said Ncube broke into three houses on separate occasions in September while in December he broke into three more.
He struck again on Saturday and Sunday last week.
Last month two men were ordered to perform 210hrs of community service at Western Commonage Court for stealing a police officer’s bicycle at Mabutweni police station.
Moven Ncube, 22 and Bongani Sihlahla, 19, stole a bicycle which was locked and parked at the veranda at the police station.
The bicycle belonged to Fanuel Silingo a police officer at the station.
It was recovered after the two were arrested.