Guesthouse owner desperately seeking pot-bellied, sunburnt suspect

IN PURSUIT: A Jeffreys Bay guesthouse owner is hoping his pot-bellied suspect will soon be in handcuffs
IN PURSUIT: A Jeffreys Bay guesthouse owner is hoping his pot-bellied suspect will soon be in handcuffs

“Fat guy who eats a lot, smokes JFK, addicted to Grand-Pa headache powders, very badly sun-burnt at this stage.” 

If that sounds like someone you may have encountered, R25,000 could be yours.

A Jeffreys Bay guesthouse owner is offering the reward to anyone who has information on the whereabouts of a former guest, who he claims cleaned out his premises after booking in earlier this week.

Schelde Street guesthouse owner Johan Rossouw was so outraged when he discovered that the pot-bellied patron had allegedly ripped him off, that he posted a photograph of the man — pie in hand — on social media.

Rossouw said the guest had booked in on Monday afternoon.

Later on Monday he allegedly broke into other units on the property and the main house, with a range of items including a television set, PlayStation, axe, spade, microwave and angle grinder stolen.

The theft was discovered only on Tuesday morning.

Rossouw said the man, whom Weekend Post is not naming for legal reasons, was last spotted on Main Beach in Jeffreys Bay.

Undeterred by a lack of leads, Rossouw, a former police officer, started his own investigation — beginning with the till slips the man had left behind at the guesthouse.

Going from store to store, Rossouw collected CCTV footage to post online.

He said he was determined to track the man down because his guesthouse was brand new and his insurance had not yet kicked in.

“I lost about R100,000 worth of stuff so at least if I get it back it [the reward] would be worth it,” he said.

Rossouw  said the 29-year-old suspect had seemed like “a very pleasant guy” who had phoned on Monday evening asking for added entertainment and “my son took his PlayStation and DVD collection to him and he [allegedly] took those too,” Rossouw said.

He said the man had been the only guest booked into the guesthouse and items from the room he was in had disappeared.

Cigarette butts, from the JFK brand the suspect smoked, had also been found in the house — an area the guest had no business accessing, Rossouw said.

So far Rossouw has had one tip-off but it led nowhere.

He is now considering upping the reward.

Police spokesperson Sgt Majola Nkohli confirmed a case of theft had been opened.

“At this stage, there is no person that has been linked to the matter, and police are urging anyone with information that could lead to the arrest of the suspect to contact the investigating officer, Det Sgt James Soni, at 081-895-7104,” Nkohli said.

A bemused Rossouw said he was surprised to hear no suspect had been identified as he had handed over all his information and evidence — including the cigarette butts  — to police.