MASVINGO — A 37-year-old Mwenezi man who stole $31 000 from a local fuel station betrayed himself by lavish spending.
Edward Murehwa Chakanetsa was arrested while on a drinking spree at a Kwekwe hotel two weeks ago where he spent more than half the loot.
The money was stolen from a fuel dealer, James Wilson, who runs a fuel service station at Lundi business centre. According to the State, Chakanetsa broke into Wilson’s house on October 23 and stole the money — proceeds of fuel sales from Buffalo Range Airport service station.
The court heard Wilson had placed the money on a coffee table in his house before falling asleep on a couch nearby. That was when Chakanetsa broke in and stole the money. Wilson only discovered the theft upon waking up the following morning.
Chakanetsa, loaded with the stolen money, proceeded to the Midlands town of Kwekwe where he reportedly hopped from one hotel to another, entertaining friends and ladies of the night in a manner that raised suspicion.
He was tracked down by detectives and was caught two weeks after the theft. He had spent more than half the loot.
Police recovered $14 700 together with Wilson’s fuel invoices which were still attached to the money.
The thief appeared in court in Masvingo yesterday where he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 18 years for unlawful entry and theft.
Masvingo magistrate Makamera Waini suspended three years of the sentence on condition Chakanetsa paid back $16 300 to Wilson by end of February next year.