Eastern Cape police have cracked a house-breaking syndicate that has terrorised Mthatha for several months.

Seven men were arrested, four of them for fencing the stolen goods, spokesman Colonel Mzukisi Fatyela said on Tuesday.

“This house-breaking syndicate has evaded capture by moving to a different area as soon as police began to step up patrols in the targeted community.”

The police recovered many of the items, stolen from homes in the suburbs of Fort Gale, Southridge Park and Southernwood, from second hand shops.

“If you buy stolen goods and get caught you can face jail time of up to five years,” he warned.

Fatyela said people were often murdered and raped during robberies and those buying stolen goods should realise this.

“When you create a market for stolen goods you are contributing to crime in our country.”

Also in the Eastern Cape police arrested a 27-year-old man for stealing a four-ton construction truck and handcuffing a security guard to a tree with his own handcuffs.

“When police found the truck near Tsolo it was already missing two wheels, so it was stolen to be stripped,” Fatyela said.

The arrested man's three accomplices were still at large. – Sapa