The Botswana Police Service has warned members of the public not to steal from vehicles involved in road accidents. This follows the arrest of six suspects for looting a truck that was involved in an accident along Trans-Kgalagadi Highway recently.
Superintendent Jayson Chabota said the horse and trailer truck loaded with 32 pallets containing cartons of beer overturned recently on its way from Namibia to South Africa.
Chabota expressed disappointment that some residents of adjacent villages and motorists using the same road ransacked the truck before the police were alerted and everything from the truck was almost looted.
Chabota said personal valuables such as phones and wallets can be easily possessed by looters without the police being aware.
”If members of the public are not ashamed of carrying visible goods from vehicles involved in accidents then there is no doubt that they are cable of stealing valuables directly from the victimized passengers,” he said.
Chabota said they try by all means as a team to control members of the public the moment they arrive at the scenes.
“Even though in most cases looters are tough to control, our presence as the police reduce chances of goods being stolen from vehicles involved in car accidents,” he said.
In October 2013, the police had to use tear gas to disperse hundreds of people who were stealing from a horse and trailer truck that was involved in a road accident along the same road.
He condemned such behavior saying that it tarnishes the good image of the country; therefore members of the public should desist from engaging in such practices.
“Botswana is a shining example of democracy, and it is shocking that some members of the public chose to do otherwise, this must stop. We have to present our country as a destination for investment,” he said. Chabota added that majority of the trucks that pass through Botswana are from neighboring countries, therefore if such cases curbed, this will scare potential investors.
“Looters who are caught red handed may be charged with ‘common theft’ or being ‘found in possession of stolen property. The six suspects are currently still in custody and are likely to be charged with possession of suspected stolen property,” said Chabota.