Woman arrested for series of burglaries in Johannesburg offices

On Monday morning, 7 February, a lady was detained for breaking into City of Johannesburg offices. The lady is suspected of being behind the building’s recent burglaries.
The woman was discovered hiding behind a desk in the City of Johannesburg Metro Centre, according to eNCA. She was found with computer hard drives in her possession.

“I was called at about 2:00 that there was a suspect in the building,” said Joburg Mayor Mpho Phalatse.

Phalatse said the same suspect broke into the offices on 24 January. On that occasion, 30 hard drives were stolen.
The mayor said the storage devices were stolen from the legal and development planning departments on the third and sixth floors. “Desktop computers were ripped apart and hard drives removed and stolen.”
At the time, Phalatse said the woman was known to both the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the City and apparently it wasn’t her first break-in.

“Ironically, this is the same suspect that was involved in a break-in on 14 October 2020. At the time, this individual targeted the third, fourth and fifth floors of Block A at Metro Centre,” said the mayor.

In January, Councillor Belinda Echeozonjoku –a member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) – said the burglaries are the result of pushback from individuals who are against the digitisation of the building plan application process, which was recently introduced by the development planning department.

“I am even more disappointed to have received allegations from members of the public of internal staff who have expressed their dislike of the online application system.
“We are aware that there are individuals who previously benefited from the inefficiencies of our processes, who are not particularly happy with the implementation of the digital platform,” said Echeozonjoku.
The porous security at the City of Johannesburg offices was breached twice in January and both break-ins saw hard drives, processing units and memory chips stolen.
The City’s Safety MMC, David Tembe, said the authorities are investigating the motive for the burglaries.