Fire fighters arrested for theft

Five firefighters have been arrested after they allegedly stole R10,000 worth of perfume and other goods from a Dis-Chem store destroyed by fire, Johannesburg police said

They were arrested on Tuesday when they returned around 5am to the scene, at the Princess Crossing shopping centre in Roodepoort, Lt-Col Tshisikhawe Ndou said.

Stock worth about R30 million was destroyed in the blaze.

“On Monday a fire broke out at the shopping centre in Roodepoort.

“The five firefighters returned on Tuesday. When the security guard denied them access, they told him they were going to look for their friend.” 

When the men left the building they refused to let the security guard search them.

He called the police.

“The men jumped into their public service vehicle and tried to flee the scene, but police managed to stop them and they were arrested on the scene.” 

They were charged with theft and possession of stolen goods.

Johannesburg emergency management services spokesman Robert Mulaudzi said the matter would be dealt with internally once the police had completed their investigations.

Dis-Chem regional manager Jan de Jager on Thursday said such behaviour was unacceptable.

“We have consulted with the police as well as the emergency services before deciding to handle this case as a normal theft case. We are very happy and thankful for the way they responded to the fire on Monday. We are happy to let justice take its course.” 

De Jager said the theft took place at a vulnerable time as the shop could not be locked due to fire damage.

The five are expected to appear in the Roodepoort Magistrate’s Court soon.

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