Two suspected criminals, who were carrying muti they believed would make them invisible while stealing from supermarkets, were caught by members of the Reaction Unit South Africa (Rusa) on Sunday.
Rusa said the 45-year-old man from KwaMashu and a 42-year-old woman from Umlazi belonged to a theft syndicate that operated only on weekends. The duo was caught inside a supermarket where they were dropped off by a silver-grey VW Polo in Durban.
The driver of the car and a third suspect managed to flee.
Last week Rusa circulated CCTV images of the suspects to a number of stores that the suspects were likely to target.
On Sunday, RUSA received information from a Durban supermarket staff saying suspects on the CCTV images were inside the store.
“Rusa officers kept observation and arrested the suspects with several high value items that were stolen.
“Upon searching the suspects, officers found a bottle of muti tied to the female’s waist and a bottle tied to the man’s arm. They were then positively identified as the suspects sought for several theft cases in the Durban area.
“When interviewed, both suspects informed Reaction Officers that they belonged to a syndicate that operated at busy retail stores on weekends. They further explained that the kingpin would first take them to a witch doctor in Umlazi, KZN, who would provide them with muti that would make them invisible to law enforcement.
“They would return to a pickup point with the stolen goods and then move on to another store robbing 15 to20 stores a day. The stolen goods were then distributed to stores willing to pay a fraction of the price for the stolen items,” said Rusa.
The duo was handed over to the Verulam SAPS.