Schoolgirl raped while waiting for lift, neighbours rally to nab suspect
A man was apprehended in possession of a cellphone owned by a teenager who had been raped shortly before, after a Port Elizabeth neighbourhood watch and private security company were alerted.
Police said the suspect was arrested on the N2 freeway on Monday.
“It is alleged that at about 6.50am, an 18-year-old teenager was standing in Seaview Road in Chelsea waiting for her transport when she was approached by an unknown male. The suspect requested that the teenager walk with him and when she refused, he grabbed her by the arm and took her into the nearby bushes where he allegedly raped her. The suspect also took her cellphone and left.”
She rushed home to report the crime, after which the neighbourhood watch, a private security company and police were contacted. They began patrols to find the suspect.
A 29-year-old man was found on the N2 freeway near Baywest.
“The stolen cellphone was found in his possession. He was arrested and detained on a charge of rape and robbery,” said police.
He is expected to appear in the Port Elizabeth magistrate’s court on Wednesday.
The Nelson Mandela Bay district police commissioner, Maj-Gen Thembisile Patekile, commended the efforts of the security company and the neighbourhood watch who mobilised immediately to search for the suspect.
“Partnership between the police and the public must be supported and strengthened by all members of the community. It is through this active partnership that we will be able to work together to reduce and combat crime within the communities we serve,” said Patekile.