A 50-YEAR-OLD cattle rustler from Esigodini, Matabeleland South province was nabbed at a police roadblock early this week, while two of his accomplices are still at large after escaping arrest.
The rustlers refused to stop at the police roadblock, leading to police giving chase forcing them to abandon their vehicle and flee, but 50-year-old Mandlenkosi Sibanda was caught.
Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube confirmed the incident.
“During the night, police were on patrol when they came across a Honda CRV which appeared loaded with three occupants. They tried to stop it, but it sped off. A high speed chase was done, they caught up with the vehicle along Matobo Road and the occupants stopped the vehicle, got out and fled, police gave chase and arrested Sibanda,” Ncube said.
The arrested suspect admitted to have been part of a gang stealing cattle in Shangani.
“Investigations led to the identification of the place where beasts were slaughtered and the owner of the farm Khumbulani Ndlela, in Filabusi came and identified the cattle heads as his,” he added. Sibanda’s arrest comes as police have said they were recording a decrease in stocktheft cases across the country owing to increased co-operation between the law enforcement agents and communities.
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In an update on Tuesday, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said during the first half of this year, police received 3 214 cases of stocktheft compared to 4 053 during the same period last year.
Nyathi said to date, 1 073 cattle had been recovered compared to last year’s 1 054.
Police have so far arrested 336 suspects for cattle rustling.
Last year, 398 were arrested during the same period.
“Despite the decrease in stock-theft cases, the current figures of stolen livestock are still high, hence the need for continued co-operation between the police and community,” Nyathi said, adding that in some instances, criminals were preying on livestock in pens at night.
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