Man robs praying congregants of cellphones,bags

A 34-year-old man from Victoria Falls allegedly tiptoed into a Johanne Masowe shrine at night and stole cellphones and bags while congregants were in a prayer session, a court heard.

Artwell Mthethwa of house number 1161 Chinotimba was arrested after the congregants tracked his footprints to the main road where he boarded a car to Lupinyu Business Centre, intending to sell the stolen items.

Mthethwa who is alleged to have stolen five handsets and two bags, pleaded guilty to stealing four phones on September 21.

He denied stealing the fifth phone and the two bags.

Victoria Falls Magistrate, Ms Rangarirai Gakanje remanded him in custody to Saturday for judgment.

For the State Ms Sithabile Daka said Mthethwa went to Johanne Masowe on September 21 at night where he stole the property.

“On 21 September Mthethwa went to Johanne Masowe shrine at night when people were praying. He stole a Samsung galaxy, Mobicel Trend, HOM, a Mint handset and a Vodafone as well as a brown handbag and satchel which belonged to the church members. He proceeded to Lupinyu where he was later caught leading to recovery of four cellphones,” said Ms Daka.

Some members of the Johanne Masowe church testified in court.

“After we noticed that some of our things were missing, we followed the footprints from the shrine to the main tarred road where we spotted the accused waiting for transport while carrying a brown satchel. He boarded a car which dropped him at Lupinyu where we later found him,” said one of the church Mr Mlibazisi Shoko.

A detective who was at Lupinyu Business Centre arrested Mthethwa.

Mthethwa led the police to some shops in Lupinyu and Victoria Falls Airport where he had left the phones charging.

The Chronicle