In a dramatic turn of events, a not-so-wise burglar was busted at the crime scene fast asleep after devouring two pots of food.
Taurai Sibanda (36) was caught red-handed by Njabulo Ndlovu (63) snoozing in his kitchen hut next to two empty pots.
According to a local tabloid, Sibanda pleaded guilty to two counts of unlawful entry and theft when he appeared before Tsholotsho magistrate Regis Mawarire.
On the first count, Sibanda was sentenced to three months in jail which were wholly suspended for five years on condition that he will not within that period commit a similar offense.
On the second count, he was slapped with a 12 months jail term of which three months of the sentence were suspended for five years on condition of good behavior.
Another three months were suspended on condition that he restitutes Mlalazi the sum of $2 100 being the value of the unrecovered property.
The remaining six months were suspended on condition that he completes 210 hours of unpaid labor at ZRP Sipepa.
It is in the States case that on 13 January 2021, Ndlovu left his homestead and went to a nearby grazing area to look for his donkeys.
The court heard that, when Ndlovu returned home at around 9 pm, he discovered that someone had entered his kitchen hut and helped himself to his supper as the two pots which he had left with food were all empty.
When he proceeded to his bedroom hut, he also discovered that his wardrobe had been tampered with. When he checked, he found out that some of his clothes had been stolen.
Upon realizing that someone had broken into his house, Ndlovu allegedly alerted his neighbors who came and observed the footprints and linked them to those of Sibanda.
When they tracked the footprints, they led them to his homestead, but he denied that he was the one who had broken into Ndlovu’s house.
In the second incident, the court heard that on 25 January 2021, Ndlovu woke up at around 4 am and proceeded to his kitchen hut looking for his cigarettes.
When he entered, he was shocked to find an unexpected guest, peacefully sleeping in his kitchen. Strangely, he dozed off after eating the food he had left the previous night.
Ndlovu left him snoozing before he proceeded to call his neighbors who swiftly came and apprehended Sibanda.
Since it was still dawn, they chained him while waiting to hand him over to the police later. However, as Ndlovu was busy preparing breakfast, Sibanda exploited the opportunity and unchained himself, and fled.
His luck, however, ran out on 15 April 2021 when he was arrested after breaking into Bigboy Mlalazi’s house in Sawmills, Nyamandlovu area.
While inside he allegedly took four bars of washing soap, 3x 2 litres of cooking oil, and a pair of tracksuit and tennis shoes.
The matter came to light when he tried to sell the stolen items. The seemingly suspicious villagers, who had heard that there was a break-in at Mlalazi’s house the previous night, quickly raised alarm.
Mlalazi went and reported the matter to the police and investigations led to Sibanda’s arrest and subsequent appearance in court.