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Durban - A holidaymaker who had been fishing on a beach in Winkelspruit in the early hours of Monday morning had his wallet that was stolen from his car returned to him before he even realised that thieves had made off with it.

This was thanks to a joint operation by the Amanzimtoti police and a Blue Security, Community Crime Prevention Organisation (CCPO) that led to the arrest of a wanted housebreaker and his accomplice who allegedly broke into a vehicle at the beach and stole holidaymakers’ wallets.

Blue Security tactical ambassador for Amanzimtoti, Eugene Engelbrecht said police and the security firm had launched the operation in a bid to track down suspects who had been committing petty theft in the suburb in recent weeks.

“We received a call about an incident near Inyoni Rocks Crescen at around 3am and responded to the scene where two suspects had allegedly been trespassing. Our officers managed to track down the suspects and recover two stolen wallets. The suspects were taken to the Amanzimtoti police station,” Engelbrecht said.

Engelbrecht said upon further investigation it was found that one of the suspects was a known criminal who was wanted for housebreaking and out on parole. Engelbrecht said officers then managed to trace the owners of the wallets through their gym membership cards.

“We contacted one of the wallet owners who was fishing with friends on Winkelspruit Beach. We met the victims at the beach where we discovered that the suspects had smashed their vehicle and stolen their wallets while they were busy fishing on the beach,” Engelbrecht said.

Victim, Hadley Else said he was surprised to receive a phonecall from the police asking whether he had his wallet with him.

“They asked if I was sure I had my wallet with me and my answer was yes because it was in my cubby hole he said.  They then asked me to come to my vehicle because someone had broken in and stolen my wallet,” Else said. 
Else was shocked at the incident but relieved that his wallet had been recovered.

“I would like to thank Blue Security, the Amanzimtoti Police and everyone who was involved in apprehending the suspects,” Else said.

Engelbrecht added that in a separate incident, an armed response officer and member of the CCPO managed to recover a bicycle from a suspect who was spotted walking in the Amanzimtoti area.

"An armed response officer spotted a suspect who was pushing a bicycle and carrying fishing rods and a gas bottle. The officer officer stopped the suspect and called for CCPO back up. Unfortunately, the suspect managed to flee the scene with the fishing rods and gas bottle. The officers recovered the bicycle and handed it over to the Amanzimtoti SAPS," Engelbrecht said.

Daily News