A 34-year-old Gokwe man has been handed an effective seven-year jail term after he broke into 12 vehicles and stole car batteries valued at $1 700 between November 2012 and last week.
Senior Court Reporter
Champion Muleya was convicted on all the 12 counts of theft despite his plea of not guilty when he appeared before Gokwe provincial magistrate Shepherd Mjanja on Tuesday.
The counts were treated as one for purposes of sentence and nothing was suspended from the sentence.
State counsel Rumbidzai Katsande told the court that between November 10 and Friday last week, Muleya went on a motor vehicle break-ing spree where he only targeted car batteries.
On the first occasion, the complainant Consoleta Makaba (73) parked her lorry at her yard and went to sleep. Muleya went to the house during the night and stole two heavy duty batteries from the truck and disappeared into the night.
He sold the batteries to Augustine Mavhurere and Melusi Bhebhe respectively.
However, the batteries where later recovered after a tip off.
The court heard that on another day, he went to Mary Chitengedza’s house where she had parked her Mazda Bongo in the yard. Muleya opened the vehicle’s bonnet and stole its battery.
During the same night he went to Silent Dube’s house and stole a battery from his vehicle.
Using the same modus operandi, Muleya stole batteries from eight other complainants and sold them to various people in Gokwe. Police investigations led to his arrest and the recovery of all the stolen batteries with a combined value of $1 700.