A jacket stolen from a scene of housebreaking sold out a serial thief after he was arrested while wearing it and was eventually jailed for 10 years.
George Khulani Dube (31) — who was jointly charged with two accomplices Lucas Sotsha Zulu (27) and Thulani Tshuma (36) — was arrested while wearing a jacket they stole at a shop along Nkayi Road.
The trio was convicted on their plea of guilty to four counts of unlawful entry when they appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Rose Dube.
Each of them was sentenced to 14 years in prison, but each had four years conditionally suspended for five years.
Charges against the three were that between August 27 and November 21, the three went on a spree of breaking into shops around the Matabelaland region.
On the first occasion the trio went to Nkenyane Shop along the Bulawayo-Nkayi Road where on arrival they used a crow bar to break into the shop.
While inside they stole groceries and clothes.
The court heard that on October 31 they broke into Kensington Bottle Store in Bulawayo where they stole alcohol and electrical gadgets.
The trio also went to Lucky Seven supermarket in Filabusi where they broke in and stole an assortment of goods.
Using the same method, they broke into a caravan in Cowdray Park, which was being used as a kiosk and stole foodstuffs.
However, their luck ran out after Dube was spotted by the complainant wearing a jacket he had stolen from his shop.
The complainant had Dube arrested and he in turn implicated his accomplices, Tshuma and Zulu.