A suspected female shoplifter left a sleeping baby in a pram and ran away from security officers after she had been discovered to have shoplifted, using a pram at Sefalana Hyper, formerly known as Metsef Gaborone, towards closing time on Friday.
Security officers were left with no option but to call the police for assistance in finding the mother of the child.
The Foods Manager at the hyper store, Gaontebale Fish, said some 30 minutes later, after a sorrowful spectacle, a 19-year-old Zimbabwean man, Venson Mguni, came claiming that he was the father of the child and had been called from work in Phakalane. He said his maid had informed him that she had gone but had left the child at the exit of the store but did not elaborate further.
The child’s pram was found with goods worth P2011.20. Two quick jugs of top brands Russell Hobbs worth (P699.55) and Phillips worth P945.95 and a six pack carton of Nivea lotion worth P365.70 were found stashed under the bag meant for diapers. The woman had only properly paid for goods worth P52.80.
“We normally have such cases of even gentlemen in suits coming here and they push a trolley while stashing goods in their jackets. They come in suits and go around the shop until the trolley is full and, judging by their dressing, you wouldn’t suspect them to be shoplifters. Then, after getting as much as they can hide, they pass through the exit and leave the trolley.”
Giving his statement to Broadhurst Police, Mguni, who stays in Gabane, said he was separated from the mother of the child and was living with a maid and the kid.
When the police tried to call the number of the mother of the child supplied by Mguni, it was off air; equally the maid’s cellphone was answered by a man claiming to be the boyfriend to the maid but he said that he did not know where she had gone.
Asked what they were going to do in case no one showed up, Sub-Inspector Mosimanegape of Broadhurst Police Station, who confirmed the case, said they could not take Mguni to the cells but would find a room for the ‘father and child’ to sleep under watch of a police officer.
“We even doubt whether the child belongs to this man. We will give them as much time as possible, and if they do not come we will find a room to lock them up with the escort of a police officer,” he said.