In a laughable show of puzzling stupidity and sheer ignorance on the part of two youthful thieves involved in a four-month house-breaking spree in Bulawayo, a stolen Cartier wristwatch with an estimated market value of US$20 000 was sold for a shy ZWL$30, which is roughly equivalent to US50 cents.
The two, Cuthbert Munyandi (18) of Nketa and Joseph Garikayi Nyasha (20) from Sizinda suburb who had a penchant of stealing electrical gadgets from houses in eastern neighborhoods, reportedly stole the wristwatch in leafy Montrose.
Their loot, part of which has already been confiscated by investigating officers, include bicycles, a gold ring, television sets, laptops, cellphones, car batteries, computers and professional cameras.
According to state media reports, the duo’s stolen gadgets are valued at around $1,5 million in local currency. And, despite police pegging the collective monetary value of the confiscated property at $1,5 million, pricing information culled online indicates that the recovered watch has an estimated cost of plus or minus US$20 000.
Between February and May this year, the criminal pair targeted residences in effluent suburbs which include Morningside, Hillside and Fourwinds. The two rogue youths allegedly conducted daylight burglary, mostly between 8am and 5pm when home owners were away.
Munyandi and Nyasha, who are facing seven counts of unlawful entry into premises and theft, were arrested Tuesday this week after having sold some of the stolen property for a song, literally speaking.
The wristwatch, which had been sold in Sizinda, was recovered after the suspects led police officers to people who had purchased their various stolen properties around the suburbs.
The Cartier wristwatch buyer from Sizinda suburb who had been ‘gifted’ with the expensive gadget for just $30 also seemed unaware of the value of the watch, the Chronicle reported.
Following the duo’s arrest, detectives in Bulawayo recovered property valued $900 000.
“Unlike most of the house break-in incidents that we are used to, the two suspects who are friends were raiding homes during the day. They would monitor houses and once occupants leave, they would break into the homes and steal mostly electric gadgets,” said Bulawayo provincial police spokesperson Inspector Abednigo Ncube, while confirming the arrests.
“Of interest, in one of the raids in Montrose suburb they got away with a Cartier wristwatch worth US$20 000 and sold it for $30 on the streets,” he said.
Additional Reporting: Zwnews