Tendai Gukutikwa Weekender Correspondent
FOUR teenagers who wrecked havoc in Mutare high density suburbs breaking and stealing from motor vehicles on 17 different occasions have been brought before the courts.
Gift Dove (18), Freeman Bepe (18) and two minors who cannot be named because of their age appeared in court last Friday.
Mutare Provincial Magistrate, Mr Tendai Mahwe presided over the 17 cases and convicted the teenagers on their own guilty pleas.
Mr Fletcher Karombe prosecuted.
Dova will serve a 54-month-jail term while Bepe will serve an effective 56-months.
The other two minors were however, sentenced to get five strokes each due to their youthful nature.
The court also took into consideration that the two minors had been coerced by their older counterparts into committing the crimes.
In passing his sentence, Mr Mahwe said theft cases were on the rise and therefore the need to give the two other boys custodial sentences to warn off other aspiring thieves.
“Thievery offences and especially theft from motor vehicles matters are on the rise in the city and there is need to set the record straight that the law will not be easy on you if you break it in such a manner.
‘‘There is need for an effective and lengthy custodial sentence for these two so that others out there will know that we are not here to play.
“They need strong rehabilitation and punishment for stealing from innocent people.
He however, said since the two minors had clearly been coerced to commit the crimes by their older friends, Dova and Bepe, there was need that they be given another chance.
“You will be given five strong strokes each by a prison guard and that will teach you never to break the law again.
‘‘The next time you break the law, you will get a custodial sentence because you would have failed to reform,” said Mr Mahwe.
The four pounced on parked vehicles in Dangamvura, Gimboki, Chikanga, Sakubva and Hob-House.
The teenagers stole from vehicles at night, usually at bars. They also pounced on vehicles parked at homes.
They broke windscreens using metal objects and gained entry into the vehicles.
Property worth thousands of dollars were stolen and only a few were recovered. They stole cell phones, laptops, handbags, cash and other valuable items and sold them to unsuspecting buyers.
The teenagers were caught after some of the goods they had stolen and sold were traced back to them.