Notorious house robber Shepard 'Axeman' Moyo has been arrested in Hillbrow. Photo: Alex Eliseev

The menace of Lonehill East and Paulshof, a notorious house robber nicknamed the Axeman, has finally been arrested after a two-year crime spree.

This is according to the head of the local residents’ association.

Sheperd Moyo, 31, allegedly became so brazen when he robbed houses that he would hide and wait for police and security to arrive before hitting the house next door.

He has no connection with escape-artist criminal Bongani Shepherd Moyo.

Rob Gillespie, of the Lonehill Residents’ Association, said that in one night Moyo managed to rob three houses in the same complex.

“He robbed many, many, many houses in the area,” said Gillespie. He described the suspect as always being very well spoken and polite to his victims, except in the case of one woman who he allegedly raped last year.

Moyo is said to have had a knack for climbing walls to gain entrance to properties without setting off alarms.

Gillespie said he always waited for his victims to go to bed and was very quiet in gaining entry to the house. People realised he was there only when they woke up and found him in their bedroom.

He always carried a bush knife or an axe as his weapons, hence his nickname Axeman

“He robbed them of money, cellphones, cameras and a laptop. Only things he could carry,” said Gillespie.

“When they woke up, he would say to them that he won’t harm them, but if they tried to fight him, he would fight back.”

He always apologised to his victims before jumping walls to escape the house.

Ian Loubser, Fidelity’s regional manager, described the Axeman as his nemesis – a man he had been trying to catch for years.

“He was a specialist at getting over fences, agile and brazen.

“He irritated me so much. I would wait at night and stake him out, and I chased him many times.”

Loubser said the Axeman escaped every time, jumping across electric fences as if they were not there.

“He scaled electric fences, putting his hand right on them and taking the full shock, never letting go of the laptop he held in the other hand.”

The security manager said he was delighted that the suspect who had been plaguing him for years had finally been caught, and promised that Fidelity would help the police with the case in any way they could.

“Nothing happened in Lonehill East before him.

I am looking forward to it returning to a nice quiet area.”

Lieutenant-Colonel Tshisikhawe Ndou said Moyo was arrested on Wednesday after the police had been monitoring him for a while.

The alleged house robber committed one final crime in the lead-up to his arrest. He gained entry to a house in Lonehill around 2.45am and surprised a sleeping couple. He took their cellphones, jewellery, car keys and a laptop.

Moyo was arrested at a pawnshop in Hillbrow, said Ndou, while trying to sell stolen goods.

“He didn’t flee or fight back. He didn’t have the chance. He wasn’t expecting it and we surprised him.”

The officer said the suspect could be linked to 19 cases of house robbery.

The 40-year-old pawnshop owner was also arrested.

Moyo was arrested once two years ago, but his case was thrown out of court.

Talk Radio 702 reported that Moyo was shot nine times during the arrest, but he survived and the house robberies began to escalate.

Moyo will appear in the Alexandra Magistrate’s Court on Friday. - The Star