Tendai Gukutikwa Weekender Correspondent
TWO youthful burglars-cum-shoplifters who were caught on camera stealing from a local supermarket have learnt the hard way that crime does not pay after they were slapped with a three-year jail term each for committing the crime.
Theodor Moody (23) of No. 94 Fourth Street, Mutare, and Nyasha Chimonya (20) of No. 2 Josiah Tongogara Street, Palmerstone, appeared before provincial magistrate Mr Tendai Mabwe on theft charges. Upon their arrest, the duo also confessed to breaking into another shop in the city at the beginning of the month. Mr Mabwe convicted them on their own guilty pleas to the two counts of theft and unlawful entry.
On the first count of theft, the pair was ordered to pay $50 fine or risk 20 days imprisonment.
They were slapped with a 36 months jail term each on the second count of theft and unlawful entry. However, six months were set aside on condition of good behaviour.
Public prosecutor Mr Fletcher Karombe said the duo contravened Section 113 and Section 131 (1) as read with Section 131 (2) (e) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23 respectively.
The State heard that on August 26 at around 4pm, TM Pick n Pay management noticed that two Nivea products were missing from the shelves.
When closed circuit television footage was retrieved it showed that Moody had removed 50ml Q10 Nivea lotion and 100ml aftershave gel from their packaging.
His accomplice, Chimonya, was also captured hiding the stolen items in his trousers and passed by the tills without paying. One of the employees recognised the convicts as they frequented the supermarket.
On September 2, the two convicts were traced and apprehended at Moto-Moto. They were subsequently taken to Mutare Central Police Station. The value of the stolen items was put at $49,50 and nothing was recovered. While at the police station, the duo also confessed to stealing from Shop No. 32, Moto-Moto the previous night.
The stolen products are worth $1 000. They gained entry into the shop by breaking a window pane and stealing an assortment of cellphones. Detectives managed to recover property worth $947.
In passing sentence, Mr Mabwe said cases of theft and unlawful entry were on the rise and therefore a stiffer penalty was appropriate.
“It is the court’s duty to keep youthful offenders out of jail by way of giving them non-custodial sentences. However, you committed a very serious offence that is currently on the rise and therefore you deserve nothing else but a rather lengthy jail term,” he said.