A gold mine employee lost nearly US$50 000 to thieves who broke into his car minutes after he had sold gold to a dealer in Bulawayo on Saturday.
West Nicholson-located Jessie Gold Mine manager only identified as Mr De Villiers (54) is alleged to have lost $46 830 to thieves who broke into his car while he had entered a shop in Belmont industrial site.
The incident occurred on Saturday between 11AM and 11:40AM.
It is alleged that Mr De Villiers had sold the yellow metal at 11AM which gave him $46 830, before conducting errands in the city centre and the industrial site.
Mr De Villers who had stashed the money under the driver’s seat of his Honda CRV, found the right front window was smashed, door unlocked and money gone upon returning to the car parked outside a shop in Belmont industrial area at 11:40AM.
He reported the theft incident at Donnington Police Station with cops initiating investigations.
Reached for comment, Mr De Villiers yesterday confirmed that the money was stolen in his car while pleading to be contacted later.
“I’m busy call me later. Call me in an hour or two,” he said.
Later, Mr De Villiers’ cellphone was no longer reachable.
The theft occured at a time when police have intensified campaigns to educate members of the public against leaving valuables in their cars.
This is due to an increase in the number of cases where residents have been losing cash, laptops, cellphones, handbags to thieves who steal from cars.
Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube said investigations on the matter were in progress.
“We are investigating a case where a Bulawayo man lost US$46 830 which was left in a car shortly after selling gold. As police we are concerned that despite going out in full force in conducting campaigns educating members of the public against leaving their valuables in cars, people seem to ignore our messages as we continue recording similar cases,” said Insp Ncube.
He said what is more worrying about this case, is that a company did very little to secure its money.
“It is worrying that a company official would go around the city with such large sums of money without securing it. We believe he was negligent. We believe US$46 000 is a substantial amount of money that should compel companies to even hire security companies during its transportation.
“This is a theft case that could have been avoided if people had been more careful. This is the money where after conducting a transaction you deposit it into the bank before conducting other businesses,” he said.
Insp Ncube said cops will continue to raid the theft from vehicles syndicates.
He said criminals stealing from cars were becoming sophisticated, using chemicals to wipe off their finger prints from crime scenes.
“But this will not stop us from arresting them as has been observed by the number of arrests that we are making on weekly basis. We urge members of the public to be more vigilant with their valuables,” he said.
By Nqobile Tshili