Mourners visiting cemeteries for burials have been warned to be extra vigilant, as thieves are now prowling burial sites and stealing from their cars while they pay their last respects.
This follows after 2 men from North End were brutally assaulted by a mob of angry mourners, after they were busted stealing in cars at Athlone Extension Cemetery, while other mourners were burying their relative.
The unidentified thieves who were caught before they could flee, had stolen purses, cellphones and groceries from the mourners’ parked cars.
Ward 7 councillor Shadreck Sibanda spoke on the matter
“I have noted that there has been an increase in theft from cars, especially at cemeteries. I want to know if the chair has heard those issues and what can be done to stop such cases,”
Ward 9 councillor Donaldson Mabutho agreed with him and said they should deploy council security officers to watch over mourners’ cars while they attend burials.
Elton Mashamba a resident from North End, spoke to local publication Bmetro saying the thieves are the lowest of them all, as they take advantage of grieving people and they have no respect for the dead.
“I think security should also be tight at these cemeteries whereby municipal security officers will be watching for suspicious people,” he suggested
One of the victims of graveyard robberies , Agnes Ndlovu (52), said she lost cash, two cellphones, door keys to her house and bank debit cards after her purse was stolen from her car while she was burying a family member at Athlone Cemetery.
“It’s so hard. Last month thieves broke into my car while attending the burial service of a relative at Athlone Extension and disappeared with my purse containing cash amounting to US$80, two cellphones, door keys to my house, bank debit cards and other essentials which were inside,” l
Nicole Mhlanga a Mzilikazi suburb resident, said people can’t even mourn in peace now as they are busy worrying about thieves breaking into their cars.
A Bulawayo City Council security officer advised mourners to take their purses with them and remove valuables from the car while they attend burials so thieves won’t take advantage.