Cigarette thief jailed

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A 28-YEAR-OLD Marondera man who on two occasions broke into a leading Marondera supermarket and stole cigarettes worth more than $4 000 was on Thursday jailed for 15 months by magistrate Jabulani Mzinyathi who found him guilty of unlawful entry.

by Jairos Saunyama

Shingirai Pote, who was dragged to court by SAV Supermarket manager Paddington Zvayi (49), pleaded guilty to the charges after he was caught red-handed by security guards while getting out of the supermarket through the roof with a sack containing bricks of cigarettes.

He will, however, serve a one-year jail term after three months were suspended on condition of good behaviour.

According to court papers, on Christmas Eve at around 10pm, the accused proceeded to SAV Supermarket.

While at the supermarket, he climbed onto the roof of the building where he removed an asbestos sheet. While inside, the accused went on to the tobacco cages and broke them, stealing 156×20 packs Madison cigarettes and 71×20 packs Everest cigarettes.

He proceeded to the shop office where he stole $298.

The total value of the stolen goods was $3 249 and nothing was recovered.

On count two, using the same modus operandi, on May 22 and at around 6:35pm, the accused person proceeded to the same supermarket.

It is alleged that while on top, the accused moved one asbestos roofing sheet by removing the nails using a pliers which was later recovered from him, and gained entrance into the shop.

While inside, the accused went on to the tobacco cages taking advantage of the previous break-in which had not yet been repaired and stole 100×20 packs Madison cigaretes, 260×20 packs Everest cigarettes, 500x10packs Madison cigarettes and 340×10 packs Everest cigarettes.

His luck, however, ran out after he was apprehended by Owen Chiguta and Revai Makaza who were guarding the premises.

The total value of the stolen cigarettes was pegged at $1 027 and all was recovered together with his tools of trade used in committing the offence.

After interrogations, he admitted that he was the one responsible for the previous break-in.
Marvelous Machacha prosecuted.