TWO boys from Epworth, aged 11 and 10, were on Wednesday caught cutting off TelOne dropping wire in Hatfield and police managed to recover 5kgs of copper and other wires from their satchel.
Preliminary investigations show that the boys have been committing the offence at different places only to be apprehended this week.
The third boy, suspected to be the mastermind, managed to escape when the pair was arrested along Kilwining Road in Hatfield.
It is not clear how they travelled from Domboramwari in Epworth to Number 167 Kilwining Road in Hatfield where they allegedly committed the offence.
A gardener at House Number 167 Kilwining Road, Mr Tawanda Nhira said some pupils coming from school saw the boys cutting the wires and alerted the adults nearby.
“The schoolchildren discovered the crime and informed us. I rushed to investigate and saw one of the boys cutting the wires using a pair of pliers.
“One was holding a satchel while the other one had some tools that I could not identify. Upon seeing me, the boys took to their heels and we managed to apprehend two.
“The other one is still on the run. A policeman going about his business passed by and we reported the theft to him,” said Mr Nhira.
National police spokesman Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the boys were released into the custody of their parents pending compilation of a probation officer’s report.
“The mastermind, who also happens to be a juvenile, escaped. The boy that escaped is believed to be the one who knew the ready market for the stolen cables.
“We had to release the boys into the custody of their parents pending further investigations. We now await a probation officer’s report to guide us on the way forward,” he said.
Legal expert Advocate Tazorora Musarurwa said the boys are too young and prosecution may be declined.
“The Child Justice Bill deals with those issues but it is still to become law. In terms of the Criminal Law Code, children above seven years but below 14 years are “doli incapax” unless presumed otherwise.
“This means there is a rebuttable presumption that they cannot commit a criminal offence. It is most likely that the PG will decline to prosecute them. However, there is need to verify their real ages,” said Adv Musarurwa.
Another legal expert Mrs Tambudzai Gonese-Manjonjo said the boys may be charged.
“Well, they are above seven so can be charged but there should be a probation officer’s report after assessment to determine if they understand right from wrong and the consequences thereof,” she said. Herald