A united community and its police force collaborated with the power of social media earlier this week to track down an alleged thief in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga.
It was about 16:00 on Monday when a witness reported suspicious activity to Nelspruit Concerned Citizens (NCC) – a community organisation that utilises various forms of social media in an effort to assist the police with crime prevention, Nelspruit Post reported.
NCC patrollers investigated the situation but were spotted by the suspects who made a run for it. The patrollers then gave chase.
According to NCC, one suspect disappeared while the other headed to a wetland next to the shopping centre.
Police, the K9 Unit and community safety organisations were deployed to the scene.
“We searched the area and ascertained that he must have been hiding in the marsh adjacent to Crossing Centre,” police spokesperson Colonel Dirk Hall said.
Hundreds of commuters stopped to look, while community members assisted in cordoning off the entire area.
By 5:40pm the team considered calling off the search, as there was no sign of the suspect. They withdrew from the marsh, but remained in the vacinity.
At about 6:30pm, the wanted man arose from the vegetation, and was spotted.
According to Hall, members of the community were involved in making the arrest and prevented him from escaping. The pump was recovered. The second suspect has not been found.
Hall confirmed that the suspect had been taken into custody. He was expected to appear in court today. He said the man would provisionally be charged with the possession of stolen property.
– Caxton News Service