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Durban - A would-be thief who apparently became disorientated after hiding in the fridge of a locked Spar supermarket in Durban surrendered to police after his plan backfired.
Police found the man cowering under a store shelf on Monday morning, and were startled to see his hands shoot up in a gesture of surrender.
The man remained behind at Randles Road Spar, in Sydenham, after closing time on Sunday and hid in the cooldrinks fridge, CCTV footage later revealed.
Owner Rajen Govender said the supermarket closed at 9pm, when the premises, including the toilet, were inspected. Then the alarm was set.
At midnight the owner’s brother, Theo, was phoned by the security company after three security zones in the store were triggered. Security guards inspected the building outside, but found no signs of a burglary. The alarm was reset but went off again at 2am.
Govender was phoned by Sydenham police who told him a guard had been found with his hands and legs tied up at the back of the building.
Govender said his brother had in the meantime monitored the CCTV footage from his home and suspected there was an intruder in the store. He raced to the scene but there was no sign of forced entry or an exit point. Police searched the store and found a man hiding under a shelf.
In the video footage a man carrying a torch is seen crawling on the floor back and forth among the aisles.
The would-be thief ripped the alarm speaker and control panel from the wall.
Govender said police were investigating whether a store guard was an accomplice.
A case of attempted burglary has been opened.