Newcastle police have claimed a breakthrough in the fight against crime after the arrest of the kingpin of a housebreaking syndicate that has been terrorising the community.
The youth, who is in his 20s, was found with items such as hi-fi sets, cameras, jewellery, imported wines and clothing valued at more than R10000 in his possession.
Police spokesman Shooz Magudulela said the suspect was arrested on Wednesday.
He said the police confronted the suspect and searched his luggage.
"The man could not give a satisfactory explanation of where he got the stuff from," Magudulela said. "The police ordered him to take them to where the goods came from.
"It is alleged that the suspect broke into and stole the items from a house in Sutherland Street."
Magudulela said the homeowners were out of town and were delighted that their goods had been recovered and a suspect arrested.
A pensioner and recent robbery victim said youths were turning to crime because there were no job opportunities.
He said the thugs previously targeted white communities but now all races are being targeted.
"Most come from homes where the parents are unemployed because the mines have closed down," he said. "They finish school and have no work."