Port Elizabeth woman and teenage girls busted for robbing shoppers at Sunridge Park Village

NOVEMBER 25, 2016

A Port Elizabeth woman and two teenage girls, aged 16 and 17 years old, are expected to appear in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court and the Nerina House Court, respectively, on Friday after they were busted by local police on charges of theft at a local shopping mall.

It is alleged that on Sunday, a 48-year-old complainant had gone to a retail store at Sunridge Park Village, in Sunridge Park, Port Elizabeth, and when he arrived back at his home he realised that his cell phone was not in his pocket.

"The complainant returned to the shopping centre and viewed the CCTV footage in the store. The footage showed that while he was avoiding other shoppers from bumping him, a young girl had removed the cell phone from his pocket," described police spokesperson, Captain Sandra Janse Van Rensburg.

"Video footage showed the suspects getting into a Nissan Micra vehicle."

The complainant opened a case of theft at SAPS Mount Road. The vehicle’s registration number was circulated and on Monday, at 11:50am, the vehicle was spotted at Riviersonderend.

"The vehicle was stopped and after searching it, police seized 14 cell phones including the complainant’s phone.

"A male and female (both 23 years old) and two juveniles, aged 16 - 17, were arrested on charges of possession of suspected stolen property," said Captain Van Rensburg. 

They appeared in court at Caledon on Tuesday, but the case against them was withdrawn, however they were re-arrested on charges of theft on the Mount Road case.

"The 23-year-old male suspect was released as he could not be linked to the crime, at this stage, but the female and two juveniles remained in custody," she said.

"The 8-year-old girl, who was with the suspects at the time of their arrests was released in her mother’s custody. Her mother was served with a notice to bring her before court at Nerina House within seven days after receiving the notice."

The female suspect will appear in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court on Friday, while the two juveniles will appear at Nerina House Court on Friday.

Police are requesting any person, who may have been robbed of his/her cellphone in a similar way to contact Lt Col Samantha Morgan on 041 3946053 or 0714751711.  One of the cell phones was already linked to a case reported at SAPS Kabega Park.

"As we approach the festive season, malls, shopping centres and places of entertainment will be busy with throngs of people milling about. Commuters are warned to make sure that their valuables especially their wallets, handbags and cellphones are well secured," said Captain Van Rensburg.

"It is a common trend for pick-pocketers to push while standing in a queue and unbeknown to the victim, wallets and cellphones are professionally removed. Never allow yourself to be distracted."