Bizarre and humorous 2019 Bay police investigations

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Image: Gareth Wilson

February 27 —  A woman tried to avoid jail time by hiding between two mattresses while her friend lay on the bed trying to convince the police that the woman they were looking for was not there.

The bizarre incident happened during a raid at a house in New Brighton.

Police spokesperson Captain Andre Beetge said while speaking to the woman they could see that the mattress was lopsided.

“The police found the woman sandwiched between the two mattresses,” he said, laughing.

Subsequent to the arrest, the woman pleaded guilty and was given a R300 fine or six months in jail.

“She spent five days in jail before being bailed out by her relatives,” he said.

April 19 — Kwazakhele resident Gabriel Boitumelo, 53, was convicted of opening a false case when he reported that he had been hijacked, but in fact was trying to dodge his wife.

Boitumelo claimed that his red Toyota Corolla had been hijacked at the traffic lights on Old Uitenhage Road.

Police spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidu said detectives had caught him out when his vehicle tracker information proved he had lied.

“Detectives soon established that his version of what happened did not correspond to the tracking data,” she said.

In August, he was charged for making a false statement and in November 2019 he was found guilty and given a R2,000 fine or 100 days in prison.

April 30 — Two hijackers tried to hide away from a trained police dog by climbing into the back of a bakkie, forgetting to close the tailgate canopy door.

The suspects were caught after allegedly hijacking a school minibus in Busiwe Street, Motherwell.

Naidu said hours later the hijacked minibus was found parked behind a spaza shop in Tromp Street, Missionvale.

 Naidu said the robbers saw the K9 unit and tried to hide in a closed-off garage attached to the shop.

“Jack found both of them hiding in the back of the bakkie, which was fitted with a canopy.

“The suspects had forgotten to close the canopy door and Jack jumped straight into the bakkie, resulting in the two men surrendering,” she said.

November 5 — Two thieves were caught red-handed after digging up power cables along the N2 near Baywest Mall.

A passing motorist alerted police to people digging up the cables along the middle island of the highway.

Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Alwin Labans said police units responded and as they attempted to catch the men, one tried to hide in a small ditch, hoping police would not see him.

“He was obviously arrested as the ditch was so small his whole body was sticking out,” he said.

November 29 — A Port Elizabeth security guard who thought he was under attack accidentally shot himself in the leg while servicing an ATM at the Cleary Park Shopping Centre.

The security officer  knelt in combat position and accidentally shot himself in his right upper leg.

Naidu said the guard had thought he was under attack after hearing a shoot-out between rival gangs at the taxi rank near the centre.

The guard is under investigation for negligently discharging a firearm in a built-up area.

December 9 — Two gangsters were caught lurking around a house that they had allegedly torched earlier that day.

Their arrest followed the torching of a house in Imbuia Street, Bethelsdorp, at about 1am on December 9.

The two were spotted by the homeowner walking in the street at midday — only 11 hours later.

Naidu said the incident was believed to be about a feud between rival gangs.

Naidu said that at  midday the two men had been spotted about 100m from the house in Imbuia Street.

 “A short while later, a third was also arrested a few streets away.”

All the men are aged between 18 and 24 years old.

All three appeared in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court and were charged with arson.

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