'Expert' jewellery thief nabbed

A thief who cleaned out Sterns in Grove Mall at the weekend left a note for the shop's staff that proved to be his undoing.

24 November 2020 | Crime

TUYEIMO HAIDULA

OSHAKATI



Oshana police say the man arrested at King Kauluma village in the Oshikoto Region for allegedly breaking into Sterns jewellers in Windhoek's Grove Mall is an expert burglar.

The suspect was arrested at his mother's home, about 700 kilometres from the crime scene, less than 48 hours after the theft. His mother, who is a police officer, was not at home during the arrest. Detective Inspector Haingura Meinolf said the police traced the suspect by analysing handwritten notes that he left at other crime scenes. He allegedly broke into Sterns at Oshana Mall in Ongwediva in June this year and was out on bail when the latest burglary was committed.



Modus operandi

Meinolf said the suspect gained access to Sterns on Saturday night by breaking through the roof of the building, disabling the alarm system and using a key to open the safe where all the valuable jewellery was kept. He allegedly took the shop's entire stock.

Meinolf said the suspect arrived in the North on Sunday evening. “We had to arrest him in the early morning because he is a dangerous suspect. He is an expert in that field. He does the job alone. “

The police spokesman said the suspect was released from prison last year after serving five years for breaking into American Swiss jewellers at Wernhil Park mall in Windhoek.

“Maybe our rehabilitation process is not working, as the police are seeing an increase in repeat offenders,” Meinolf said.



Notes

The 35-year-old suspect left handwritten notes inside the shops he broke into, informing the managers that his crime involved no violence.

He also advised the shops to improve their security systems.

By yesterday afternoon, the arresting officers had recovered 232 watches, 225 rings, 35 necklaces, and safe keys.

Meinolf said the total value of the stolen items had not yet been determined.

He said the suspect was on his way to Windhoek and would appear before the Magistrate's Court later this week. Police investigations continue.

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