Cop shop robbery ‘is an inside job’

Johannesburg – Police have instituted an internal investigation at Midrand police station after thieves broke into the cop shop and stole seven plasma TVs from the storeroom last weekend.

Shockingly, the incident was not captured by CCTV cameras despite that the station has installed at least three cameras facing the direction of the entrance to the administration block, where the TVs were stored.

This revelation, according to police officers attached to the station, triggered an internal police investigation because there are suspicions that the incident was an inside job.

CCTV footage, according to officers close to the investigations, captured nothing and the review shows that at the time of the break-in, the cameras were pointing to another direction.

Sunday World has learnt that police officers have now been asked to hand over their cellphones to investigators for downloads.

This was, the officers said, because the police bosses suspected that whoever broke into the station was working with one of their own. Provincial police spokesperson Mavela Masondo confirmed the break-in and said investigations were under way.

“Police have opened a case of business breaking-in for investigation after the storeroom where some of the unclaimed properties are kept was broken into. Seven television sets that were to be taken for auction were stolen. No arrests have been made and suspects are unknown at this stage, but investigations are under way,” said Masondo.

An officer, who asked not to be named because they were not authorised to speak to the media, said the storeroom located in the admin office of the station contained expensive alcohol and other items, but said only the TV sets were stolen.

The officer said the thugs appeared to have used a crowbar to enter the admin office block.

They broke a glass door to access the block.

The police source said the administration block was normally locked on weekends because admin staff members did not work during weekends and public holidays.

An officer privy to the incident said: “It can only be an inside job because the people who did this knew what they were doing. They knew the place very well and where to go after breaking the glass entrance.

“Otherwise, how did they know that there would be no one in the admin offi ce during the long weekend. Worse, they turned the cameras around to ensure that they don’t capture the storeroom.” The details were also confirmed by another senior officer who said the incident was the second of its kind at the same police station. The senior officer said eight plasma TV sets were stolen at Midrand police station exhibit storeroom in 2018.

They were later found to have been sold to a Chinese shop owner in Midrand.

It is understood that 50 cellphone tower batt eries were also stolen at the police station in 2019 after being confiscated during a raid in Tembisa.

The batteries were later intercepted in a police trailer being driven to an unknown area where it was believed they were to be sold to a businessman.

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