A 40-year-old man dubbed ‘South Africa’s dumbest criminal’ who has been on the run for seven years was arrested after voluntarily going to the police to check on his application to join the force.
The suspect, Thomas Ngcobo, was wanted for stealing hardware products worth over ZAR 20,000 (GBP 1,000) that he had been entrusted to deliver to clients in 2015. But instead, he went on the run.
At the time, Ngcobo allegedly diverted the hardware delivery to other addresses without the owner’s consent or knowledge.
Mpumalanga police spokesperson Brigadier Selvy Mohlala said: “The suspect’s dirty tricks were uncovered a week later after the manager decided to check invoices.
“It was realised that two invoices were missing and other material had been delivered to wrong addresses.”
The alleged theft was registered at the Bethal South African Police Service (SAPS) headquartered in the South African province of Mpumalanga in 2015, with Ngcobo being added to cops’ ‘wanted list’.
But seven years after the crime, the suspect shocked SAPS officers after appearing in a police station to find out what the hold-up was with his application.
Mohlala said: “The suspect was unexpectedly nabbed on Monday, 15th August, 2022 after he visited the Bethal SAPS to make enquiries about his application for a police recruitment drive.”
The Provincial Commissioner of SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela welcomed the 40-year-old criminal’s capture and alerted fugitive suspects that there is no running away from the law.
She said: “We are working tirelessly day and night, sticking to our mandate of creating a safe environment for all citizens. We cannot achieve that stage while other suspects are still roaming the streets and terrorising communities.”
Manamela reassured: “It is just a matter of time before we bring them to justice.”
Local media reported that Ngcobo has been held in custody since Tuesday, 16th August.