A known thief has led police, looking for stolen bikes, to a mosque where they found stolen goods worth over R1 million.
Four men have been arrested, including two caretakers at the Stegman Road Mosque in Claremont.
The two Malawian nationals were back at the mosque yesterday, where one told Daily Voice he felt “bad” over the whole saga.
The two have been working at the mosque for over eight years, and were arrested on July 6 after cops found the stolen goods in their living quarters, which were separate from the mosque.
The duo, and two other suspects, a 42-year-old from Manenberg and a 35-year-old man from Hanover Park, appeared in court last Monday on charges of theft and possession of stolen goods, and were released on bail.
Cops seized 140 items, including plasma TVs, power tools, and 21 bicycles that had been stolen over the course of a year.
Claremont SAPS Station Commander, Colonel Enolium Joseph, say the goods were stolen from areas like Rondebosch and Mowbray.
Yesterday, Muslims attending afternoon prayers at the mosque identified the suspects.
One of the men admitted: “I am one of them who were arrested. I went to jail but I am out now. I feel bad for what happened.”
The other man denied the allegations, shouting at his friend to remain silent.
The men refused to talk after that.
Colonel Joseph says members were responding to a house-breaking in Claremont on Wednesday, 6 July, where two bicycles had been stolen.
While viewing security footage, cops recognised “a known criminal in the Claremont area”, he explains.
“When police drove around, they found this person and asked where he takes his stolen goods.
“He said he was trading with men at a mosque. They sold the stuff to two Malawians who worked as caretakers. This has been going on for a year.”
The Manenberg man took police to the Stegman Road Mosque, where cops found the stash in their quarters.
Naziem Jamie, the chairperson of the Stegman Road Masjid Committee, told Voice of the Cape radio no other members of the mosque have been linked to the crime.
Joseph said there would be a public viewing of the stolen goods at Claremont police station on Saturday.