WHEN others were busy celebrating the birth of Christ during the festive season, it probably gave them a chance and they decided to break into a church to steal.
Unfortunately, their joy was short-lived as they were arrested on Christmas Day still in possession of some of the stolen property.
Boy Maseko (48) and Khumbulani Sibanda (37) of Bulawayo’s Makokoba suburb did one of the most disgraceful things by stealing at Emakhandeni Seventh Day Adventist church on Christmas Eve.
They pleaded guilty to unlawful entry and theft charges when they appeared before magistrate Tancy Dube.
One of the accused left the court in stitches when he begged for mercy claiming to be suffering from a sexually transmitted infection.
The court heard that Maseko and Sibanda broke into the church on Christmas Eve and stole property worth $700. The church caretaker Canius Ndlovu had reportedly locked all doors and windows before retiring to bed and in the wee hours of 25 December he got the shock of his life when he discovered a broken window pane.
Upon checking on what had transpired, he then realised that some church property was missing and rushed to report the matter to police.
The thieves had gotten away with 30 plastic dishes, 15 towels, 62 face towels, four curtains, four lace curtains and three decoration cloths.
Investigations carried out led to the arrest of the two accused persons and consequently recovery of 10 plastic dishes, 14 dish towels, six face towels, two curtains, two lace curtains and two decoration cloths.
Recovered property was valued at $250.
The magistrate slapped the two accused with 15 months imprisonment each and two months was suspended on condition of good behaviour. Another three months was suspended on condition they restitute the complainant by paying $225 each.