Cape Town Central police are warning the public against opening false cases after a man was arrested for staging a robbery.
The man was arrested for perjury after he confessed to his employer that the robbery was planned.
The group commander for fraud at Cape Town Central, Captain Mark Mentz, said that on Saturday February 2, police responded to a call from a shop in Long Street, where an employee was allegedly attacked by three men and threatened with a firearm before they made off with the shop’s stock.
“The man said he was alone in the shop when some people came in and made him lay on the ground, kicked him and threatened him with a gun.
“He said two men attacked him while one was standing guard at the door, and the robbers allegedly cleared out his stock and the safe. A case was reported and upon investigating, some facts didn’t add up.”
Captain Mentz said there was no evidence of an attack and no bruises where the man had been kicked, and the robbery happened in the middle of the day in a busy street.
“It turns out there was a shortage that he had to make up for. He confessed to the owner of the shop who then opened a case of theft against him. I opened a case of perjury and he was arrested and held at the station.”
Captain Mentz said because the initial case was armed robbery, the police had put a lot of resources into investigating. “This was a waste of a lot of time, money and resources. Apart from that, if you’re convicted for the first time, you get a 6- to 12-month suspended sentence and a criminal record.
“It’s unpatriotic, and it is easy for us to find out you are lying.”
He said perjury is a concern, especially with robbery cases. “I’ve heard that some insurance companies don’t pay out if force is not used, so when people lose their phones they claim they were robbed.”
He said on average, about three perjury cases are opened by the police a month. “It’s a regular thing. We want to warn people against this, because we will find out and we will lay charges.”
Cape Town Central spokesperson Captain Ezra October said the issue of false cases have led police to put a sign up in the service centre warning people to refrain from it.
On Wednesday February 27, a man was arrested for possession of presumed stolen property after police found a cellphone which had been reported missing at a kiosk on the Grand Parade.
On Thursday February 28, a man was arrested for possession of drugs and possession of a dangerous weapon at CPUT’s Cape Town Campus. Police confiscated a packet of tik and a tik lolly, crushed mandrax, and a 22cm butcher’s knife. The man was detained at Cape Town Central police station.