Nokusa Masuku Court Reporter
AN ex-soldier yesterday stunned a packed Western Commonage court in Bulawayo when he pleaded guilty to 29 counts of unlawful entry and theft.Philani Ndlovu, 26, targeted mainly beer gardens, bottle stores and supermarkets in and around Bulawayo.
He allegedly stole property valued at more than $4,000.
Ndlovu appeared before provincial magistrate, Willard Maphios Moyo.
He allegedly broke into seven supermarkets in Pumula, Lobengula West and Nkulumane, four beer gardens in Nkulumane and Pumula South, two bottle stores in Luveve and Nkulumane, butchery in Nkulumane and a house in Nkulumane.
Only property worth $290 was recovered.
Prosecuting Mufaro Mageza told the court that in December last year, Ndlovu broke into four different premises on different occasions.
“Ndlovu gained entry by means of cutting padlocks on back doors of the premises, breaking the asbestos on the roof of the building and cutting the ceiling. He sometimes entered through windows or forced open doors,” said Mageza.
In January this year, the court heard, Ndlovu broke into seven different premises.
Mageza said Ndlovu would lie low for a period of between two to 10 days before pouncing on the next premise.
The court heard that this February, Ndlovu broke into four premises.
Mageza said Ndlovu was caught on Thursday last week after a tip-off from members of the public.
He said on Valentine’s Day, Ndlovu made indications to the police on how he gained entry into the premises.
Last week, an ex-convict, Hlanganani Ncube, 26, appeared before the same courts facing 20 counts of unlawful entry and theft.
He allegedly stole property from eight different police officers who reside at Nkulumane Police Camp.
Ncube was doing his community service after he was convicted of an assault charge. After completing his community service, Ncube, returned to haunt the police officers by breaking into their homes and stealing from them.
He ran out of luck when he dropped his cellphone while escaping soon after stealing two cellphones.
The police officers traced him through his phone and arrested him.
Ncube will be appearing today for trial.