WATCH: Reward offer for alleged thief known as ‘The Garden Gnome’



The man has been caught on camera lurking around homes numerous times.

A R2 000 reward has been issued for the identity and capture of a trespasser and alleged thief in the east of Pretoria.

Garsfontein resident Wendy Smuts says residents have come together to issue a reward for the capture of a man who keeps residents up at night, stealing and trespassing on their premises.

The man labelled The Garden Gnome targets people’s homes in Garsfontein stealing valuable possessions such as iPads and bicycles left around carelessly.

The man has been caught on camera numerous times lurking around Smut’s house on Zita Street.

Smuts told Rekord the unknown man was reported to be going around the area trying to break into homes and steal.

She said the man had targeted her home was caught on camera sneaking around her porch late at night.

“Other residents have reported that he has been in Jacqueline Drive, Elfranco Malan, Coetzee , Rina van Zyl and Snowy Walker streets.”

Smuts said her home’s security camera had recorded the unknown man in her yard at least five times in the past three weeks.

“The most recent instance was two weeks ago on a Wednesday morning at 1.30am. She said security firms ADT and Accon were on high alert for the suspect.

“The man easily scaled high walls to evade security firms and disappeared into gardens of neighbouring residences in seconds.”

Smuts said the man carried a backpack and sometimes a headlamp, including a screwdriver, according to video footage and other residents.

“I believe he has been stealing bicycles, laptops and iPads.”

“We are offering a reward for information that will lead to his successful capture because he keeps many of us up at night.”

Anneke Bodenstein, community chairperson for a reservist group in the area known as Gars3, confirmed the R2 000 reward for the capture of the man.

“We as the community have come together in raising funds to offer a reward and buy infrared equipment to help catch this man.”

Bodenstein said the man was an opportunistic thief that stole iPads and valuables through windows that had been left open.

“We have issued pamphlets to alert residents of this man,” she said.

– Caxton News Service

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