EC police arrest suspected stock thieves who burnt down victims homes
Ten alleged stock thieves were arrested in Elliot near Qumbu and Maclear over the weekend.
Transport MEC Weziwe Tikana-Gxothiwe alleged that the first five gun-wielding stock theft suspects had robbed their victims at gunpoint before setting their homes on fire.
The arrests came a month after a delegation led by Tikana-Gxothiwe engaged with the community on how best to tackle poverty-inducing activities.
Tikana-Gxothiwe said four more men were arrested in Maclear on Sunday.
Their arrest came after 25 sheep worth over R45,000 were reported stolen.
A total of 13 sheep skins were found at a nearby dumping site.
“Further investigations led to a house used by the suspects where plastic bags with meat were found in a refrigerator,” she said.
In Elliot, a 52-year-old was arrested while transporting three cattle.
The police acted swiftly after receiving a tip-off about cattle theft from a farm in Elliot.
The suspect apparently failed to give the police a satisfactory response when he was questioned about the cattle ownership.
“The criminals have not only been threatening people’s lives, but they have also taken away their livelihoods,” she said.
“The cattle and sheep that they have stolen is what puts food on the table ... it is what they use to send their children to school and secure their future.
“The next challenge now is to ensure that the livestock we can still get back is handed back to its rightful owners.”
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